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Volume XVI 



Field Museum of Natural History 

Publication 216 

Anthropological Series Volume XVI 




Helen C. Gunsaulus 

Assistant Curator of Japanese Ethnology 

61 Plates 

Berthold Laufer 
Curator of Anthropology 

1 ,9 %24 


Field Museum of Natural History 

Publication 216 

Anthropological Series Volume XVI 




Helen C. Gunsaulus 

Assistant Curator of Japanese Ethnolog-y 

61 Plates 

Berthold Laufer 
Curator of Anthropology 





Preface 5 

List of Plates 7 

Introduction 9 

I. Early Types of Swords, Ken and Tachi. The Court — s. 

Sword and Its Fittings i\—~S 

II. The Dai-sho: Katana and Wakizashi. Small Swords 

and Daggers. Nomenclature of the Fittings and tv 

Alloys Used for Mounts on the Dai-sho 31 \ 

III. Tsuba of Swordsmiths and Armorers, Kanayama and 

Shingen Tsuba 37 

IV. Kaneiye and Myochin Nobuiye and His Followers. 46 
V. Early Inlays: Onin, Fushimi, Yoshiro, Tempo, 

Heianjo, Kaga, Gomoku-Zogan, Shoami, and Awa 53 
VI. The Sixteen Masters of the Goto School and Their 

Followers 60 

VII. The Umetada Family. The I to School 67 

VIII. Foreign Influence Illustrated in the Hirado, Namban, 

and Hizen Tsuba. Jakushi and Soten of Hikone 73 
IX. Higo, Akasaka, Sunagawa, Akao, and Satsuma 

Tsuba. Kinai of Echizen 79 

X. The Nara and Hamano Schools. Iwama Masayoshi 

and His Followers 86 

XI. The Schools of Bushu and Choshu. Tetsugendo Artists 99 
XII. The Yokoya School and Its Subsidiary Branches: the 

Iwamoto, Yanagawa, Sano, and Inagawa Families 105 

XIII. The Omori and Ishiguro Schools 113 

XIV. The Ichinomiya School and Hosono Masamori of Kyo- 

to. Sumizogan, Guribori, Murakami, and Enamels 122 

XV. The Schools of Mito. The Tamagawa Family 130 

XCI. The Uchikoshi and Tanaka Schools. The Sonobe 

Family 137 

XVII. The Otsuki School. Haruaki Hogen 146 

XVIII. Goto Ichijo and His Pupils 154 

Appendix. Observations on the Restoration of 

Patina by Henry W. Nichols 163 

List of Signatures on Sword Mounts 167 

General Index 189 



In June, 1916, Dr. Frank W. Gunsaulus presented to Field Museum 
of Natural History a collection of 919 Japanese sword-mounts, among 
these 746 sword-guards and 173 examples of sword-furniture. The 
nucleus of this collection had been formed by Edward Greey, who first 
visited Japan in 1854, completing his collection in 1886. In course of 
time, other specimens were added by Dr. Gunsaulus from such notable 
collections as that of Alfred Beit of London and Justus Brinkmann of 
Hamburg. Dr. Gunsaulus' valuable gift to the Museum was accompa- 
nied by 1,793 negatives of sword-guards (the obverse and reverse 
of each having been taken), a catalogue in manuscript prepared by his 
daughter, Miss Helen C. Gunsaulus, after many years of earnest study 
of the subject, as well as by a fine series of books pertaining to Japanese 

In 1917 the entire collection of sword-fittings was placed on exhi- 
bition in the old museum building, arranged in two cases on narrow 
shelves in such a manner that each object could be plainly viewed and 
studied from both sides. This is essential, as the majority of sword- 
guards are decorated or inscribed on both the obverse and reverse. 

In 1919, Miss Helen C. Gunsaulus was appointed assistant curator 
of Japanese ethnology in this Museum, and revised completely the cata- 
logue of the sword-fittings. She devoted more than two years to a 
thorough study of the entire subject, the results of which are embodied 
in this publication. 

The collection is now re-installed in Frank W. Gunsaulus Hall, which 
was opened on the 5th of August, 1922. A selective method has been 
adopted, only 228 guards and 118 smaller mounts having been chosen 
for exhibition. The remainder of the collection has been classified and 
deposited in a cabinet in office 51 on the third floor, where it is available 
for students. 

Despite the important contributions which have been made to this 
subject by such able students as the late Marquis de Tressan and Henri 
Joly, it is hoped that this volume, by its compact and critical presenta- 
tion of the material at hand and the addition of novel information in 
respect to the metal craftsmen, will prove of interest and make an appeal 
to the students of Japan, as well as the ethnologists and folklorists in 

The signatures appearing on the sword-mounts, names of artists, 
families, and localities, have been arranged in an alphabetical index with 

6 Preface 

Chinese characters It is hoped that this index will be a useful and 
convenient instrumentality to the reader and to those who may be 
endeavoring to catalogue or arrange for exhibition purposes examples of 
this craft. 

The illustrations are all selected from specimens in the Gunsaulus 
collection, with the exception of those reproduced in Plates I and II, for 
which credit is due to the Brooklyn Institute Museum, Brooklyn, and the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

It is a matter of profound regret that Dr. Frank W. Gunsaulus, who 
made this collection and followed with keen interest every step made in 
the progress of its study, has not been, allowed to live to see this work 

B. Laufer. 
































Tsuba Found in Dolmen 

Brooklyn Institute 
Metropolitan Museum of 
Cat. Nos. 130754. 
Cat. Nos. 

Cat. Nos. 

Pommels and 

Pommel and Tsuba Found in Dolmens. 

Art, New York 
Shitogi Tsuba. Types of Early Decoration. 

130861, 130881 
Tsuba with Decoration in Honzogan and Nunome-zogan. 

130878, 130879 
Iron Tsuba of Early Period. Cat. Nos. 131 167, 131057 
Iron Tsuba with Decoration Chiselled in Silhouette. 

130880, 130804, 130844, 130890 
Two Types of Shingen Tsuba. Cat. Nos. 130764, 131052 
Iron Tsuba of Kaneiye School. Cat. Nos. 130783, 130815, 131085 
Iron Tsuba by Late Myochin Artists. Cat. Nos. 130778, 131258 
Tsuba of Fushimi-Yoshiro Type. Cat. Nos. 130929, 131020, 130866, 

131 164 
Tempo, Heianjo, and Kaga Tsuba. Cat. Nos. 130864, 130872, 131225, 

Gomoku-zogan, Shoami, and Awa Inlay. Cat. Nos. 130932, 131266, 

130855, I3I445 
Mounts by Goto Artists of the Eighteenth Century. Cat. Nos. 

I3II55. 130723, 131316, 131381 
Tsuba of Goto School. Kozuka by Nomura Masayoshi. Cat. Nos. 

130601, 130609, 131363 
Tsuba Attributed to Umetada Myoju. Cat. No. 131029 
Mounts by Artists of Umetada Family. Cat. Nos. 131486, 131369, 

131508, 131177 
Tsuba of the Ito School. Cat. Nos. 131275, 131 159. Tsuba in Fig. 3 

in Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio. 
Tsuba of the ltd School. Namban Tsuba. Cat. Nos. 130940, 131514, 

131 137 
Tsuba of Hizen and School of Jakushi. Cat. Nos. 131 138, 130742 
Tsuba by Soten of Hikone in Goshii. Cat. Nos. 130841, 130801 
Tsuba of Higo Province. Cat. Nos. 130981, 130984, 130817 
Tsuba of Higo Province. Cat. Nos. 131001, 131032, 131037 
Tsuba of Akao and Satsuma. Tsuba by Kinai. Cat. Nos. 131018, 

131098, 131220 
Tsuba by Kinai of Echizen. Cat. Nos. 130777, 130776 
Tsuba by Early Nara Masters. Cat. Nos. 130705, 130730, 130607 
Tsuba by Tsuneshige. Fuchikashira by Yasuchika. Cat. Nos. 
130660, 131328 
Tsuba of Nara and Hamano Schools. Cat. Nos. 130638, 130641, 

Mounts by Hamano Artists. Cat. Nos. 130704, 13 1338, 1 30621 
Mounts by Hamano Artists. Cat. Nos. 130598, 131334, 130677, 

Tsuba by Masaharu. Mounts by Hata Nobuyoshi. Cat. Nos. 130647, 

130719, 131365 
Tsuba by Bushu Artists. Cat. Nos. 130820, 130822 
Bushu and Choshu Tsuba. Cat. Nos. 131 193, 130798, 130781 
Choshu Tsuba. Cat. Nos. 131219, 131 142, 131221 
Mounts by Artists of Tetsugendo, Cat. Nos. 130838, 131403, 131375 


List of Plates 

XXXV. Mounts by Yokoya Artists. Cat. Nos. 131341, 130674, 130756 
XXXVI. Mounts by Iwamoto Konkwan. Cat. Nos. 131355, 131356, 130673 
XXXVII. Mounts by Yanagawa Artists. Tsuba by Sano Naoyoshi. Cat. Nos. 

130612, I3I343, 131388, 130691 
XXXVIII. Tsuba by Sano Naoteru and Inagawa Shigehisa. Cat. Nos. 130609, 
130610, 130655 
XXXIX. Tsuba by Omori Masters. Cat. Nos. 130600, 130670, 130678 

XL. Mounts by Pupils of Omori Teruhide. Cat. Nos. 130780, 131362, 
I3I359, 130672 
XLI. Mounts by Ishiguro Artists. Cat. Nos. 130678, 131350, 130653 
XLII. Mounts by Ishiguro Artists. Cat. Nos. 130639, 131349, 130689 
XLIII. Tsuba by Ichinomiya Nagatsune and Hosono Masamori. Cat. Nos. 

130682, 130683, 130876 
XLIV. Mounts by Ichinomiya Nagatsune and Tsuji Yoshinori. Cat. Nos. 

I3I37I, I3I373, I3I372, I3I493 
XLV. Guribori, Mother-of-Pearl, and Enamel Decoration. Cat. Nos. 

131278, 131 198, 131281 
XLVI. Tsuba by Mito Artists. Cat. Nos. 131263, 130606, 130775 
XLVII. Tsuba by Mito Artists. Cat. Nos. 131283, 130802, 130805 
XLVIII. Tsuba by Tamagawa Artists. Cat. Nos. 130624, 130726, 130593 
XLIX. Mounts by Uchikoshi Hironaga. Cat. Nos. 130643, 131515, 130602, 
I3I377, I3I376 
L. Tsuba by Hiroyasu and Hiroyoshi of Uchikoshi School. Cat. Nos. 

130732, 130605, 130736 
LI. Tsuba by Toshikage and Masakage of Tanaka School. Cat. Nos. 
130804, 13 1 506 
LII. Tsuba by Takamoto Hidemune. Mounts by Sonobe Artists. Cat. 

Nos. 130646, 130640, 131370, 130763 
LIII. Tsuba by Otsuki Mitsuoki and Kano Natsuo. Cat. Nos. 130771, 

LIV. Tsuba by Hidekune and Takechika of Otsuki School. Cat. Nos. 
130645, 130845, 1 30591 
LV. Mounts by Haruaki Hogen. Cat. Nos. 131346, 131345, 130699 
LVI. Tsuba by Haruaki Hogen. Cat. No. 130720 
LVII. Mounts by Goto Ichijd. Tsuba by Funada Ikkin. Cat. Nos. 131321, 

13 1 322, 130658 
LVIII. Tsuba by Fukui Ichiju and Kazunori. Cat. Nos. 130844, 130757 
LIX. Tsuba by Goto Seii, Fuchikashira by Goto Mitsuyasu and Ichijo. 

Cat. Nos. 130636, 131318-19, 131323 
LX. Tsuba by Miyata Nobuhisa. Cat. No. 130762 
LXI. Selection of Seals and Kakihan. 


By Helen C. Gunsaulus 

In 1876, there was issued in Japan the edict known as the Haitorei 
regulation, by order of which the samurai were commanded to relinquish 
the privilege of wearing two swords, — "an outward evidence that dis- 
tinguished men of their order from common toilers after gain." In con- 
sequence of this act there soon appeared in the markets of Europe the 
remarkably fitted weapons which now are among the most admired 
testimonials to the outside world of what Japan is and has been in the 
field of art and craftsmanship. 

It is estimated that in 1877 there were approximately two millions of 
samurai, the descendants or followers of a calling which had existed 
from the tenth to the nineteenth century. When we consider that for 
these hundreds of years armorers and metal craftsmen had labored to 
produce the finest weapon, we are not surprised at the calculation that 
at this time there were five million blades, many of which had been 
handed down as the cherished defenders of several generations. Nor 
should the number of sword-fittings be difficult to account for. Whereas 
a samurai might possess one trusted blade, he more than likely would 
have four or five sets of fittings which would be adjusted for different 
occasions. "Added to this large number are those which were made for 
merchants who, becoming prosperous during the Tokugawa shogunate 
(1603-1868), established the custom of wearing a sword by the side of 
the koshisage (writing outfit) in their belts." x 

This, in a measure, accounts for the many replicas and imitations that 
are to be found everywhere, as does also the fact that collections of 
sword-fittings have existed in Japan since the sixteenth century, and col- 
lectors in Europe have augmented the production of shiiremono ("ready- 
made articles") ever since the early days when Nagasaki was the only 
outlet for Japanese culture. 

In estimating the extent to which the sword was used, it must be 
remembered that the wearing of a sword was the general practice of the 
common people regulated by many prohibitions issued from time to 

'M. de Tressan, Involution de la garde de sabre japonaise (Bull. Soc. 
Franco-Japonaise, Vol. XXV, p. 43). 

io Japanese Sword-Mounts 

time and quoted in detail by H. Joly. x The Buddhist priesthood must 
likewise be taken into account. 2 Though the farseeing Yoritomo, in the 
twelfth century, had curbed the strength of the Buddhist priests, his fol- 
lowers, more lax in their methods, allowed Buddhist militarism to grow 
to an enormous degree. In the early fourteenth century, supporting the 
Emperor Go Daigo, the bonzes made a desperate assault against the 
Ho jo rulers. Finally, in the sixteenth century, they had accumulated 
such military power and wealth in estates that Nobunaga, realizing the 
menace of their organization, attacked the monasteries which by this 
time were practically fortresses filled with priests, equipped with 
weapons and armor, fighting among themselves as rival sects or siding 
with any warring faction which could win their support. The monaste- 
ries of Hiyeisan and Hongwanji were fired in 1571 and 1579, respect- 
ively, and in those bitter struggles thousands of warrior priests fell; 
Buddhism as a militant force was fatally struck. 

From the fifth to the sixteenth century, Japan had no real period of 
peace; wars foreign, civil, or religious, clan clashes and conquests had 
developed a military organization of great complexity with its own cult, 
"the religion of loyalty" (bushido), "the noblesse oblige of the warrior 
class." 3 "The soul of the samurai" is a happy characterization applied 
to the sword and familiar to all who are students of old Japan. The 
short outline of the development of feudalism which follows will readily 
help in establishing the truth of this expression, and may not be amiss 
in this study in accounting for the many different schools of metal 
workers who decorated the sword, and who gained a place among the 
artists of the ages from their products in this craft alone. Following the 
historical events one by one there may be traced the steps in the transi- 
tion of the decorations on the sword, from those found on a purely 
fighting weapon to those which appear finally on the ornamental sword 
of the nineteenth century. 

Though feudalism came into full form under Yoritomo, the founder 
of the shogunate in the late twelfth century, the germs of this system 
had long been existent before this period, as I. Nitobe states in the first 
chapter of his book "Bushido." The original unit of the social organiza- 
tion was the clan, composed of persons claiming descendance from a 

1 The Sword and Same, p. 136. 

' See K. Asakawa, Life of a Monastic Sho in Mediaeval Japan (Annual Rep. 
of American Hist. Assn., Vol. I, pp. 311-342), especially notes 78, 97, 103, 120. 
3 1. Nitobe, Busjjido, p. 4. 

Introduction ii 

common ancestor, and through this bond establishing an individual 
ancestor worship. 1 

K. Asakawa, 2 in his scientific study of the social organism prior to 
the reform of 645, pictures in detail the quasi-patriarchal, quasi-tribal 
organization over which the emperor, claiming descent from the Sun 
Goddess, Amaterasu, ruled. Stating the situation in Lafcadio Hearn's 3 
words, disputes between the clans were undoubtedly frequent; and 
gradually the most powerful clan group dominated over the whole 
number, its special cult becoming the national religion. This was the 
worship of the Goddess of the Sun from whom the supreme ruler, the 
Mikado, claimed descent.* 

Though the clans had this common tradition expressed in the wor- 
ship of the emperor, they retained their independent organizations and 
deities. The clan remained the real unit of society until the Meiji era, 
witness the power of the Fujiwara, Taira, Minamoto, Hojo, and Ashi- 
kaga families from the eleventh to the sixteenth centuries, as well as the 
influence of the Satsuma and Choshu clans immediately before the over- 
throw of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868. 

During the fifth and sixth centuries, certain clan heads were rising 
so rapidly in power that the imperial authority was in danger of being 
overshadowed. Accounts in the Nihongi of the struggles between the 
Mononobe and Soga families 5 vividly portray the unsettled conditions 
surrounding the royal palace. The introduction of Buddhism into 
Japan in a.d. 552 and the acceptance of the new religion by the emperor 
in 587 were deciding factors in the establishment of the power of the 
Soga family who fostered Buddhism and supported the emperor, at the 
same time opposing the Mononobe and Nakatomi who were opposed to 
the new creed. During the half century preceding the reform of 645, 
the Soga family reigned supreme, usurping the government of the land 
in many ways. 6 Finally the younger Soga was murdered in the presence 
of the empress, and the elder Soga shortly after was executed. 

When, in 645, the power of the Soga family came to an end, the 

1 W. Aston (Shinto, p. 46) prefers the terminology "pseudo-ancestor wor- 
ship" in the recognition of nature deities, clearly differentiating between ancestor 
worship so-called and the Shinto adoption of ancestral gods. 

2 The Early Institutional Life of Japan, pp. 32, 59-66. 

1 Japan, An Interpretation, p. 262. 

* It is interesting to observe in this connection that through all the centuries 
even the most bitter enemies of the emperor have acknowledged him to be the 
only legitimate ruler, the son of Heaven and the direct descendant of the Sun 

5 W. Aston, Nihongi, Vol. II, pp. 105-115. 

* Op. cit., pp. 178, 182, 183, 189, 191, 193. 

12 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

emperor, determined to insure his authority, adopted the Chinese 
system of government, along with the higher learning and many of the 
arts which had naturally come over to Japan in the train of Buddhism. 
The reform of 645 outlined in detail by K. Asakawa in "The Early 
Institutional Life of Japan" would, as he says, have amounted to a 
revolution, had not the emperor himself accomplished the deed. "The 
fundamental principle of society was changed from a quasi-patriarchism 
which had consistently ruled nearly all the institutions of the nation, to 
a form of the state in which a uniform law directly controlled all the 
subjects, who were sharply separated into two classes, one ruling over 
the other and in return being supported by it." 1 

The emperor regrouped all of the clan families into eight new castes, 
thus creating new orders of nobility and changing the form of govern- 
ment from simple feudalism to centralized monarchy with eight depart- 
ments of state. Society was divided into two classes, — the governing, 
including all nobles, and the military ; and the producing comprising the 
farmers, artisans and merchants. This great gulf between the people 
and the political power endured until 1868. The producing class was 
the nation itself ; the governing class was a nation within a nation, apart 
and all powerful. In the seventh century the emperor was sovereign 
over all, in truth, as well as name. 

"All lands privately held by local lords and all people subjected to 
group chieftains were decreed to be henceforth public and free and sub- 
ject only to the emperor. The designation of local lords and group 
chieftains were allowed to be kept by those who had formerly possessed 
them, but only as mere titles. ... In lands thus made public, provinces 
were established and governors appointed. Under those governors 
served the local lords and group chieftains as secretaries of various 
official grades or as district governors, all salaried, paid in natural 
products, of course, since no currency existed at that time." 2 

This statement is quoted in full, for it was the public lands here 
referred to, which were soon encroached upon by warriors in the field 
and by the Fujiwara nobles, who from the seventh century on held 
almost all the important offices at court, accumulating such control that 
the title of kwambaku (literally, "the bolt inside the gate," but meaning 
"to represent the Mikado") was bestowed upon Fujiwara Mototsune in 
a.d. 888. 3 

Shortly after the introduction of Buddhism, the role of the emperor 

1 K. Asakawa, The Early Institutional Life of Japan, p. 323. 
S K. Hara, Introduction to the History of Japan, p. 115. 
S W. Griffis, Mikado's Empire, Vol. I, p. no. 

Introduction 13 

changed from supreme ruler to cloistered sovereign. The Fujiwara 
chiefs used the interest in the new religion as a tool for the increase of 
their own dominion. On their advice, many of the emperors, after rul- 
ing for a short time, some at the early ages of five and ten years, re- 
tired from active life, shaved their heads, and became Buddhist monks, 
leaving the administration in the hands of ministers who readily rele- 
gated more and more authority unto themselves. The kwambaku was 
regent during the minority of the emperor ; and this power, coupled 
with the fact that the wives of the ruler were ever chosen from this 
family, gave the Fujiwara unlimited sway. So closely hedged in by 
etiquette that no subject save the wives and concubines saw him, the 
emperor soon became the mere puppet in the hands of the ministers. 
The court life of this period developed into a luxurious pastime. "The 
mode of life of the Mikados was not such as to make them able rulers. 
They passed their time surrounded only by women and priests, oscillat- 
ing between indolence and debauchery, between poet-tastering and gor- 
geous temple-services. This was the brilliant age of Japanese classical 
literature which lived and moved and had its being in the atmosphere of 
an effeminate court." 1 

, In this rich ground the seeds of feudalism took deep root. While 
the Fujiwara had monopolized the offices of the palace in Kyoto, the 
two great families, the Taira and Minamoto, who traced their lineage 
to the emperor, as did the Fujiwara, had constantly filled the military 
positions. The Minamoto warriors had subdued the Ainu and the war- 
ring tribes in the east and north ; the descendants of the Taira clan had 
had the same pronounced success in the west and south. After the 
storm of war, in the peaceful quietude which ensued, these two clans, 
both jealous of the dictation of the effeminate Fujiwara, became hated 
rivals, and each strove to possess the imperial palace. 

According to Griffis, 2 prior to a.d. 645, all subjects of the Mikado 
had to serve in the field, but under Fujiwara dictation the allurements 
of the court were such that the civilians at Nara or Kyoto were only 
too willing to grant the title of shogun to those who would go forth to 
subjugate the barbarians and quiet the warring tribes. The shogun was 
commander-in-chief in early times appointed by the emperor. At a later 
date, this same generalissimo was simply the most powerful of the 
daimyo, his office becoming an hereditary usurpation of power. The 
claims of reward made by the chieftains who had brought the country to 
order, were repeatedly rejected and ignored. Being opened by the 

1 B. Chamberlain, Things Japanese, 5th ed., p. 232. 
* The Japanese Nation in Evolution, pp. 180-206. 

14 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

Fujiwara regent, none of them reached the emperor. Having gained 
great prestige and power in the provinces where they had been the sole 
representatives of the government, the warrior leaders, after receiving 
nothing from the capital, determined to reward their followers with 
grants of land, knowing that they were ever able to back their claims 
with the sword. Added to this feudalization of the country, the Fuji- 
wara regents granted offices as civil functionaries over conquered dis- 
tricts to the host of imperial princes, sons of the sovereign's numerous 
wives. They in time seized the land, and also became masters of huge 
domains. In a.d. 986 the Fujiwara clan controlled over two hundred 
houses of dependent families. The military and nobility were exempt 
from taxes, and the peasants who were stripped of their land were soon 
ground down to a most miserable state. The private landed estates, 
which thus sprang up over the country, as it was rapidly being opened 
up, are known as sho ; and, since they later came almost entirely under 
the control of the warrior classes, are of particular interest from the 
point of view of this study. Again quoting K. Asakawa, 1 "it was the 
sho that overthrew the Japanese state-system reconstructed in the 
seventh century." Owing to the growing luxury of the court and its 
devotion to the Buddhist church, the government encouraged the private 
cultivation of land, intending that the benefit should go to the common 
people in place of the local magnates or court nobles who took advantage 
of the situation. The next step was the granting of large tracts, known 
as "temple lands," to the Buddhist temples which were not to be taxed. 
Added to these stretches of land immune from taxation were the "im- 
perial lands," — grants freely disposed of by the emperor to members 
of the royal household or other high personages. Private persons were 
at the same time cultivating land so rapidly that by the ninth century, 
in defiance of the law, huge domains were in the hands of powerful men, 
who claimed to be following the desires of the government, and thereby 
gained exemption from taxation. Owing to this illegal aggrandizement 
of land, the peasants, who were almost the only remaining tax-payers, in 
many cases provided themselves with arms against further loss, or de- 
serted their lands and became outlaws. Many of the provincial gover- 
nors of the provinces stayed in Kyoto, leaving the administration of 
their lands to their lieutenants. These last-named and the private hold- 
ers of vast domains surrounded themselves with private warriors, many 
of whom had seen service on the frontier. From this stock sprang the 
samurai. "They were a privileged class, and must originally have been 
a rough breed who made fighting their vocation. This class was nat- 

1 Feudal Land Tenure in Japan (American Hist. Review, Vol. XX, 1914, p. 5). 

Introduction 15 

urally recruited, in a long period of constant warfare, from the man- 
liest and the most adventurous; and all the while the process of elimina- 
tion went on, the timid and the feeble being sorted out, and only 'a rude 
race, all masculine, with brutish strength,' to borrow Emerson's phrase, 
surviving to form families and the ranks of the samurai." 1 

It was due to the developments outlined above that the samurai or 
"fighting knights" came into the important place which they held for 
seven centuries. The word satnurau means "to be on guard," and before 
the twelfth century referred to those warriors who guarded the em- 
peror's palace. However, as the conquest of the country developed 
under the Minamoto and Taira clans, the need for soldiery was so im- 
mediate in many instances, that instead of waiting for an army to be 
raised by the government, these same leaders would call upon the 
samurai, many of whom had left the luxurious Fujiwara court, had ob- 
tained power and position in their native districts, and were ever ready 
for daring adventures. By the latter half of the eleventh century, when 
the Minamoto and Taira chieftains each were eyeing the imperial 
palace, the military power was silently massed behind them, and the 
court was left with almost no support in the form of trained warriors. 
Surrounded by their faithful retainers, the Taira and Minamoto moved 
to Kyoto. A rival claim to the throne soon embroiled them in the strug- 
gle for supremacy, known as the wars of the Genji (Minamoto) and 
Heike (Taira) clans. Each side supported a rival claimant to the throne. 
In 1 1 56 Kiyomori of the Taira clan won the day from the Minamoto 
Yoshitomo, possessed the imperial palace, filled the court offices with his 
relatives, married his daughter to the emperor, and in every detail sup- 
planted the Fujiwara. The one stumbling block to Taira supremacy and 
safety was the military menace of the Minamoto clan. This was the 
cause of the longest and fiercest struggle in Japanese history. 

The wars of the Genji and Heike clans were full of heroic encoun- 
ters which have been the inspiration for many artists. The names of 
Yoshiiye, Yoritomo, Yoshitsune, Tametomo, and Antoku shall ever 
represent the brave spirit of Japan. Each of these heroes is the subject 
of decoration on certain sword-fittings in this collection, and a more de- 
tailed picture of their lives and their times is given as the characters 
appear on certain specimens described in the text following. 

Finally in the battle of Dan-no-ura in 1185 (see Plate XX, Fig. 2), 
the Minamoto followers overcame the Taira ; and their rule which had 
lasted twenty-nine years came to an end. It was under Yoritomo, the 

1 1. Nitobe, Bushido, pp. 7-8. 

16 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

Minamoto chieftain, that the shogunate was founded, and that Japan, 
though ever a monarchy from the undisputed superiority of the divinely 
born sovereign, became in reality a duarchy with a heavenly ruler, the 
emperor, dwelling in seclusion, and a military imperator who wielded 
all the powers of the administration. Yoritomo built the city of Kama- 
kura. There, in the elegance of a second court, pretending to follow 
the emperor's wishes, he managed to place five of his family as military 
governors (shugo) over five extensive provinces. These positions had 
heretofore been held by civilians appointed from the court. He re- 
warded other Minamoto by making them military governors in other 
districts, each to be subject to the shogun's immediate orders. Each of 
these officers received his pay from the product of the land under his 
supervision. Each had entire charge and land set aside for the support 
of his soldiers. Thus the administration of the country passed from the 
civil to the military, who held it thenceforward for seven centuries. The 
province rulers under Yoritomo were the forerunners of the powerful 
daimyo of the sixteenth century. , 

Yoritomo, in 1192, received the title of Sei-i Tai Shogun ("Bar- 
barian Subjugating Great General"). 1 The title "shogun," from this 
time forward, had a new meaning and stood for such authority that 
foreigners supposed him to be the real sovereign, as we learn from 
Commodore Perry's own account and those of the early travellers. 

Unlike Yoritomo and his braver brother, Yoshitsune, the two sons 
who survived him at his death in 1199 were weak and dissolute. The 
system which Yoritomo had perfected with the greatest ambition for the 
Minamoto family, became the tool in the hands of the H6j5 regents. 
The father-in-law of Yoritomo was Hojo Tokimasa, known as the first 
Shikken of Kamakura, "the Prime Minister" to the "Shadow Shoguns." 
He gained his position through the machinations of Masako, the wife of 
Yoritomo, who preferred to increase the strength of her father rather 
than the glory of her own son. Added to the anomaly of two capitals, 
was the power behind "the second throne," which these Hojo regents 
wielded. Content with their authority, none of the Hojo sought the title 
of shogun; but dominating over and dictating for the puppet shoguns 
whom they installed and banished at their pleasure, these tyrants (for 
such they became) ruled for 140 years. 

The repulse of the Mongolian invasion in 1281 was one of the few 
beneficent acts of these usurpers. Not only were shoguns disposed of 
with ease, but also emperors were deposed and sent into exile. The 

'W. E. Griffis, Mikado's Empire, Vol. I, p. 142. 

Introduction 17 

further feudalization of the country was accomplished by the seizure 
and division of the estates of all those who assisted the emperor, or in 
any undertaking opposed the policy of these shikken. , 

This usurpation of power and oppression of the people, and more 
especially the banishment of Go Daigo, the emperor, awakened the in- 
born loyalty of three heroic men, Nitta Yoshisada, Ashikaga Takauji, 
and Kusunoki Masashige. Nitta Yoshisada, though a captain in the 
Hojo army, refused to fight the imperial forces, which he was ordered 
to do. He deserted his command, sent word to the exiled emperor, 
gathered his retainers about him, and within a few days the city of 
Kamakura was burned to the ground. Ashikaga Takauji and Kusunoki 
Masashige restored the imperial power in the west. The Hojo leaders 
and their vassals were overcome, the report being that 6,800 were either 
slain or committed harakiri. 

In 1335 the exiled emperor Go Daigo came back, but peace did not 
return with him to the country, for a new cause for war appeared. Ashi- 
kaga Takauji had through treachery lost the imperial favour. In con- 
sequence he sought out Kogen, one of the emperors deposed by the 
Hojo, and setting him up as sovereign and establishing a rival shogunate, 
Go Daigo was again forced to flee. Each branch of the imperial house- 
hold was supported by powerful daimyo. This civil war, through years 
of bloody fighting, changed from a contest in which the imperial suc- 
cession was the factor, to a struggle between numerous feudal lords 
fighting for more land and more influence. For fifty-six years Japan 
continued to have two emperors until from alarm at the disintegration 
of the country, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu acknowledged Go-Komatsu as 
legitimate ruler in 1392. , 

Military domination, however, had completely disorganized the nobil- 
ity who sought protection from the powerful daimyo, for whom military 
magistracies had become hereditary. Even the shogunate lost its old 
significance in the unceasing contests of the clan chiefs for more land, — 
contests in which they amassed such wealth and power that each became 
a law unto himself, supported by his own armed retainers. Under the 
thirteen Ashikaga shoguns from 1336- 1573, Japan lived through her 
darkest days. Crime, neglect of agriculture and industry, seizure of 
land, and ceaseless war made the name of Ashikaga hated by all the 
generations. The emperor and the nobles were stripped of any influence 
or wealth, the shogun himself had no authority. The whole country had 
become divided as spoil among the daimyo who were surrounded by their 
samurai, loyal to the last degree in their devotion and allegiance to their 
military chief, subjects of the emperor only in theory. 

18 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

At this crucial moment in the history of the country, there arose one, 
who, deposing Ashikaga Yoshiaki, determined to centralize the authority 
of government and bring the land back to a unified state. This was Oda 
Nobunaga, the master of six provinces in central Japan. Realizing the 
menace of the Buddhist priesthood in their strength of arms and prop- 
erty, he ordered a persecution of the bonzes, which in its extent and 
ruthlessness made him the hated enemy of all Buddhists forever. For 
purposes of further annihilating them, he became a strong supporter of 
the Jesuits, who had been pouring into the country since 1542. His final 
aim was to bring back the emperor to supreme power. Not being of 
Minamoto descent, he never assumed the title of shogun ; but, supported 
by his two generals, Hideyoshi and Iyeyasu, and a most powerful army, 
he pacified the warring clans, and to a great extent restored order to the 
country. When in the full vigor of manhood, at the age of 49, he was 
assassinated by a traitor while dwelling in the temple of Honnoji in 
Kyoto. The act was avenged by Hideyoshi, Nobunaga's loyal general, 
who immediately assumed complete power. He was made "kwambaku," 
and as the officer nearest the emperor ruled the country for sixteen 
years. The daimyo had been by no means completely pacified by Nobu- 
naga. Hideyoshi was skillful enough to occupy their minds and those of 
their followers in an expedition which, while it was inglorious, tended 
toward the unifaction of the clans. This was the conquest of Korea, 
begun in the year 1592 and lasting for five years. From the point of 
view of this study, this conquest was the most important event under 
Hideyoshi's rule. , 

Before the death of Hideyoshi in 1598, Iyeyasu, the other general of 
Nobunaga, had been recognized as the rising man of the future, and 
Hideyoshi had engineered the marriage of his son, Hideyori, to the 
grand-daughter of the coming ruler. Tokugawa Iyeyasu had no inten- 
tion of backing the claim of Hideyoshi's son. On the other hand, he was 
determined to become the ruler himself, and was soon challenged in his 
ambitious plans. At the battle of Sekigahara he met the army of his 
adversaries. His was a united force of 80,000 loyal warriors, while 
that of his enemies, though numbering 130,000, was composed of the 
troops returned from Korea and the retainers of a league of powerful 
daimyo each of whom had art individual cause to fight. 1 After a most 
terrific battle, with the loss of thousands of men, the victory was to 
Iyeyasu. , 

This man is thought by many to be the most remarkable character 
that Japan ever produced. He was not only a great general, but also 
1 W. Gmffis, Japanese Nation in Evolution, p. 253. 

Introduction 19 

a far-seeing statesman, calm in his methods, firm in his purpose. His 
it was to garner the fruits of victory which had been won by his prede- 
cessors, Nobunaga and Hideyoshi. There had been no shogun for 
thirty-two years, since neither of the former dictators was eligible for 
that position. Nobunaga, though an aristocrat, was of Taira blood; 
Hideyoshi had risen from the ranks of the common people by sheer 
brilliancy in military tactics. Tokugawa Iyeyasu, being a descendant 
of the Minamoto family, soon, on account of his evident power, was 
created "Sei i Tai Shogun" by the emperor. By him was completed the 
elaborate feudal system of which he was the head. 

As was observed above, through the centuries of almost ceaseless 
warfare, Japan had developed many mighty military chiefs of provinces. 
The land had become the spoil which they had divided among themselves 
and their loyal adherents. The emperor had so long been hidden from 
public vision, the administration of the government had so completely 
passed into the hands of shoguns and other usurpers that the old loyalty 
of subject to emperor had been transferred and transformed into un- 
divided allegiance to an immediate military lord. Iyeyasu determined 
to co-ordinate and centralize the military power under one head. He 
married three of his daughters to powerful daimyo; he invested three 
of his sons with very rich fiefs. The daimyo, such as those of Satsuma 
and Higo and other unconquerable districts, he conciliated; and those 
strong leaders whom he had conquered at Sekigahara he tactfully 
"treated as equals, less fortunate in the game of war than himself." 1 

After the re-organization of the daimiates and the redistribution of 
fiefs, many of which went to his own kinsmen, Iyeyasu had so fixed the 
balance of power that the successful revolt of any daimyo, no matter 
how strong, was next to impossible. In order to hold a further check 
upon them, he required these lords to pass a certain allotted time in Yedo, 
which city he chose for his capital in 1 590. The processions of daimyo 
with their samurai on their way to Yedo have been described by many a 
writer 2 and delineated by many an artist. They were the complete em- 
bodiment of the elaborate feudal system which had been developed 
through ages of fighting. A feudal chief might have as many as one 
thousand retainers, all equipped with weapons and armor which would 
reflect the richness of their lord's domain. As they journeyed through the 
country, all commoners were forced to kneel with bowed head along the 
roadside. Should any one fail to do so, instant death was dealt by those 

1 W. Griffis, Mikado's Empire, Vol. I, p. 274. 

1 E. Kaempfer, History of Japan (J. MacLehose ed. Glasgow 1906), Vol. II, 
P- 330. 

20 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

officers who preceded the train in order to compel due respect. Looking 
down upon the procession was as serious an offence as not prostrating 
one's self. All shutters were closed, as the equipage moved along. 

Added to this severance of the peasant class from the military was 
the fact that the samurai dwelt within the park surrounding the palace 
of the daimyo which was called a yashiki, while the peasantry who 
farmed the land dwelt without. The richness and beauties of the 
palaces of the daimyo have been most interestingly described by T. R. H. 
McClatchie in his article on the "Feudal Mansions of Yedo. m 

The term samurai included the daimyo, their retainers, the hatamoto 
or flag bearers, and the private soldiers of the shogun. All received 
hereditary incomes of rice from the government, all were exempt from 
taxes, none engaged in business of any sort, and all were privileged to 
wear two swords. Through centuries of testing, there had been devel- 
oped a sense of honor and chivalry, a strength of endurance, and an 
almost complete self-abnegation for the sake of the feudal lord whom 
they served, which helped to make the samurai a unique product of 
mankind. The sword had become the symbol of power and prowess. 
Under the influence of the teachings of the Buddhistic Zen sect, 
supreme repose was reflected in all art and in the mode of living of those 
who became its disciples. "Not to use the sword, but to be the sword, 
pure, serene, immovable, was the ideal of the Ashikaga knight." 2 

Of such material was the bulk of the military class composed, when 
Iyeyasu became supreme dictator and master. Though ever a vassal of 
the emperor, Iyeyasu had assumed even the protectorship of his sov- 
ereign and his court. He rewrote the codes for both the kuge ("no- 
bles") and the buke ("military men"), and outlined the principles of 
law which were enforced by the Tokugawa shogun for the following two 
hundred years. The unsuccessful revolt of Hideyori, son of Hideyoshi, 
in 1615, and the massacre of the Christians at Shimabara by the order of 
Iyemitsu in 1637 were the only events which disturbed two hundred 
and fifty years of peace. 3 

Emerging from the dark years of war into the transforming time of 
quiet harmony, the mode of life of military Japan became radically 
softened and enriched. Etiquette was cultivated to the extreme. Cus- 
toms, such as flower arrangement, tea ceremonies, and poetical contests 
were rigidly outlined. Literature and the arts were fostered, and 

1 Transactions As. Soc. Japan, Vol. XV, pt. 2, pp. 157-182. 
"Okakura Kakuzo, Ideals of the East, p. 172. 

* The importance of this last event must not be minimized, but cannot be fully 
treated in this study. See W. Griffis, Mikado's Empire, pp. 247-264. 

Introduction 21 

daimyd who had lost much of their political power filled their days with 
the peaceful pleasures of painting and poetry. Costumes were of the 
richest brocade. Elegance was reflected in the armor and swords which 
during this period of peace were no longer the garments and weapons 
of defence, but the rich attire and ornaments for the purpose of parade 
and adornment. Added to the peace of this epoch was the exclusive 
policy of the Tokugawa shogun which helped to make for the cultivation 
and refinement of the national civilization. Japan was an isolated nation 
from 1624 until 1868. Not only was foreign trade forbidden, save at 
the port of Nagasaki, where the Dutch were allowed a most limited 
intercourse, but also foreign travel was absolutely prohibited. National 
industry flourished to a remarkable degree. Luxurious living was the 
general condition of the higher rank. Artists and artisans were con- 
stantly occupied in producing objects for the enriching of daily life. 

Along with the embellishments of the luxurious Tokugawa era came 
the interest which proved to be the central cause for the undoing of this 
family's power. Iyeyasu had been a great patron of literature, and 
under his encouragement in the study of ancient works, there had devel- 
oped a spirit of research which awakened in certain minds deep question- 
ings. Strangely enough, one of the most erudite among these scholars 
was Iyeyasu's own grandson, the Prince of Mito, who compiled the 
Dai Nihon Shi ("History of Japan"), written in 1715. Through the 
influence of this and other like researches, the prestige of the imperial 
dynasty was lifted up, and the usurpation of the Tokugawa shogun was 
seen in the broad daylight of truth. The old emperor-worship was 
re-instated in this Shinto revival. The samurai, who were among the 
most highly educated men in the empire, began to see that the first al- 
legiance was of the vassal to his emperor. To many became plain the 
evidence that only in the succession of the "Heavenly Sovereigns" lay 
the safety of the country, — the divine inheritance which had for so 
many centuries been hidden and usurped by the shoguns. 

Such an opportunity for throwing off Tokugawa domination was not 
neglected by the several restive lords, those of Satsuma and Choshu most 
especially. They became advocates of the revival of learning, and in 
every way sought to undermine the influence of their hated oppressor. 
On the height of this disturbing wave came into view the fleet of Com- 
modore Perry on July 8th, 1853. 

The story of modern Japan is too well known to be detailed here, 
save as it reflects the final disintegration of the feudal system and the 
recognition of the individual citizen as superior to the clan as the unit of 

22 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

, A year after his first appearance, Commodore Perry returned to 
Yedo Bay, and there a treaty between the United States and Japan was 
signed. Whether the Commodore ever knew that he had not treated 
with the emperor is a question raised by W. Griffis. 1 At any rate, the 
treaty bears the signature of the Tycoon (Tai Kun, "Great Lord"), a 
title taken by Tokugawa Iyesada, in order to appear as supreme ruler of 
the empire. This assumption of power stirred the court and the entire 
kingdom with indignation. The shogun was between two fires, the 
deep-seated distrust of him at home, and the aggression of the foreigners 
which he had ignored, and which he now knew was beyond resistance. 
No treaty with foreigners was valid without the signature of the 
emperor, and this treaty the emperor had absolutely refused to sign. 
The clash between Kyoto and Yedo was on. Mistrust of the foreigners, 
coupled with a deep hatred for the shogun, and a revivified loyalty for 
the emperor encouraged the leaders of the clans of Satsuma, Choshu, 
Mito, and other dissatisfied feudal lords to arm in preparation for war 
against the Tokugawa usurper whom they would reduce to his proper 
place as vassal to the one supreme ruler. All over the country the rising 
spirit of patriotism was surging to express itself. In 1863 the Prince 
of Choshu precipitated matters by firing upon the foreign vessels at 
Shimonoseki. The shogun, in attempting to reduce this clan to order, 
realized the crumbling state of his power. After his defeat by the 
Choshu clansmen in 1866, Iyemochi died, to be succeeded by Keiki who 
was the last shogun that Japan suffered. He was a weak and vacillating 
creature who held his office for only a year, resigning in 1867. In the 
meantime, in 1865, Komei, the emperor, had been persuaded by his 
advisers that he must ratify the foreign treaties, after the foreign pow- 
ers had united in a demand that the documents bear the signature of the 
emperor. No longer could the shogun stand as the sole sponsor of 
intercourse with the other nations of the world. Komei died in 1867, 
and was succeeded by his son, Mutsuhito, a boy of sixteen years of 
age. In 1868, the combined troops of Satsuma, Tosa, Echizen, Owari, 
and Aki possessed the imperial palace and determined to restore the 
emperor to his ancient place. Though instated in the old capital of 
Kyoto, Mutsuhito transferred his palace the next year to Yedo, which 
from this time on was known as Tokyo ("Eastern Capital"). 

The shogun made one last attempt in 1868 to regain his former pres- 
tige. Setting out from Osaka whither he had retired, with his retainers 
and those of the daimyo of Aizu and Kuwana, Keiki attempted to 
re-enter Kyoto and deliver the young emperor from the hands of his 

1 Mikado's Empire, Vol. I, p. 304. 

Introduction 23 

"bad counselors." At the battle of Fushimi the shogun was beaten and 
fled to Yedo, where he retired into private life. By 1870 the war was 
over and the leaders of thought, especially Okubo of Satsuma and Goto 
and Kido, all of them students of foreign languages and ideas, became 
advocates for the Europeanization of the country. 

The four great clans of Satsuma, Choshu, Tosa, and Hizen were the 
first to realize that the fiefs held by feudal lords should belong to the 
emperor, the supreme head of the empire. Steps toward the fall of 
feudalism sounded louder each day. By 1871 an edict was issued for all 
daimyo to retire to private life. Their lands and their revenue reverted 
to the imperial treasury. The same year the samurai gave up their 
hereditary pensions. In 1876 the privilege of wearing two swords was 
taken away from the samurai. Society was re-organized into three 
classes — the nobles, the gentry, and the commons. Kuge and daimyo 
were terms never to be used again with the same significance. The army 
of the present time is an army of conscription. The people of the nation 
have come into view, and the feudal lord is now what the peasant is, — 
a private citizen, a true subject of the emperor, who, after centuries of 
exalted seclusion, has come out to be the visible ruler of his people. 


, The earliest types of Japanese sword of which we have any knowl- 
edge are those which have been found in the dolmens or tombs of the 
ancient Japanese, the Yamato people. According to tradition, these 
monuments date from the second century B.C. to the eighth century a.d., 
when the influence of Buddhism counteracted this ancient form of 
burial. In a.d. 645, the time of the great political reform, Kotoku, the 
reigning emperor, issued this order concerning burials in dolmens : "De- 
posit not in them gold or silver or copper or iron, and let earthenware 
objects alone represent the clay chariots and straw figures of antiq- 
uity. . . . Bestow not jewel shirts or jade armor. All these things are 
practices of the unenlightened." 1 

Great numbers of these dolmens (misasagi) exist in Japan, generally 
located on margins of the more important plains and river basins and 
near the coasts of the Inland and Japan Seas. None are found in the 
extreme northeast and parts of the wild forest and mountain tracts, 
which were evidently held by the aborigines who had been driven back 
by these more civilized conquerors. 

The dolmens are of diverse forms, many of them containing stone 
or terra-cotta coffins ; and almost all have yielded objects of great an- 
tiquarian interest, such as pottery, mirrors, clay figures, horse trappings, 
beads, armor, and swords. 2 The sword blades found therein are of iron 
or steel forged, not cast, and are of various types. They are generally 
straight, single or double edged ; some, however, evince a slight inward 
curve, which H. Joly thinks accidental. 3 The two-edged swords are 
known as tsurugi or ken, and are probably of earlier date than the single- 
edged sword. Several of these dugout specimens are of stone, having 
been made for burial purposes to replace the actual sword. The two- 
edged type of sword has persisted through the centuries as the typical 
weapon of the Buddhist ritual, having the lotus-formed hilt terminating 
in a vajra ("thunderbolt"). It is to be seen on many of the stone 
statues of Buddhist divinities, especially the delineations of Fudo and in 

*W. Aston, Nihongi, Vol. II, p. 48. 

3 W. Gowland, The Dolmens of Japan and Their Builders (Archaeologia, 
Vol. LV, pp. 439-524) and Metals and Metal Working in Old Japan ( Transactions 
Japan Soc, Vol. XIII). 

*H. Joly, Sword and Same, pp. 9, 11. 


i"V" ~ 

wm B»TY W Ulfl»» LIM* B1 ' 



Pommel and Tsuba found in dolmens. Metropolitan museum of Art (p. 27). 

Early Types of Swords — Ken and Tachi 25 

the hands of Suzano-wo (Plate XXXIV, Fig. 3), who is said to have 
originally wrested it from the dragon's tail. 1 It is this type of sword 
also which very often appears engraved on blades, sometimes combined 
with a dragon, or associated with modified Devanagarl characters, called 
Bonji, and quite as often as the sole decoration. 

The single-edged weapon found in the dolmens is generally termed 
tachi, though, as Arai Hakuseki points out, in ancient days tsurugi and 
tachi were terms used interchangeably. 2 It is of about twice the length 
of the two-edged sword. Though the fittings of the scabbards, in many 
cases, have become disintegrated from burial in the ground, it is quite 
evident that these were slung swords, the scabbards bearing two feet 
(ashi) through which passed cords or chains, whereby they were sus- 
pended from the belt. 3 On many of the clay figures known as haniwa 
and found in the same dolmens, there may be clearly distinguished a 
hanging sword, which, though curved and short in comparison to these 
remains mentioned above, more than likely represents the type of sword 
found entombed with the clay figures. 4 

It is the fittings of these early weapons which are of particular inter- 
est in this study, as the forerunners of the mountings which appear 
upon the swords of Japan throughout the ensuing centuries. The pom- 
mel and the guard or tsuba (that disk which fits between the hilt and 
blade) will claim our attention rather than the blade itself, the study of 
which may be set aside here, as it has been exhaustively dealt with in 
books both Japanese and English. 3 

Among the excavated specimens referred to, there are many types of 
pommels, several of which may be studied from the examples illustrated 
on Plates I and II. The two excellent examples in Plate I are from the 
Brooklyn Museum. The examples on Plate II are the property of the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. All of the dug-out speci- 
mens are of copper gilded or of iron with a thin sheet of copper coated 
with gold. The type in Plate I, Fig. 1, seems to have been made as an 

1 B. Chamberlain, Kojiki, p. 63. "He drew the Totsuka-no-Tsurugi and cut 
the serpent in pieces, and the River Hi hecame like a river of blood. And when 
he cut the middle tail, the edge of the sword broke, thereupon he split the flesh 
open, and therein he found a great sharp sword, which he took. It is the 

' H. Joly, The Sword and Same, p. 9. 

'Straps of printed leather, known as shobu kawa (from the design of iris 
shobu and water lines kawa printed upon them), were used later for the suspen- 
sion of slung tachi. 

* In the Kokka, No. 46, there are represented, along with drawings of early 
swords, two such figures carrying slung swords. 

5 Particularly H. Jolv, The Sword and Same ; and Gilbertson, Japanese 
Sword Blades (Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. IV, pp. 186-215). 

26 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

independent accessory which fitted into a hilt metal covered, as may be 
seen in examples in the Tokyo Imperial Museum and in the Metropolitan 
Museum of New York, where scabbards of similar swords are in a good 
state of preservation. The pommel was made secure by means of a peg 
which passed through the hole in the centre. In all probability, this 
form is of a later date than that of the ring-pommel sword which is of 
one piece, the hilt being contiguous with the blade, and which is imme- 
diately reminiscent of the knife coins of the Chou period in China from 
which country these weapons must have come. 1 

The first copper coin was cast in Japan, according to records, in the 
period 'Wado (a.d. 708-714), which received its name from the discov- 
ery of copper in that country, Wa meaning Yamato, Do being the char- 
acter for copper. It is therefore likely that if these swords with copper 
pommels were not imported from China or Korea, they were probably 
made of metal which was brought in from the outside world. 2 

The specimen under discussion is carved in the round to represent a 
dragon, the body forming the ring, the head filling the centre portion. 
Details on the head are brought out by fine surface-carving. Other 
pommels closely resembling this one have as a decoration the head of a 
phoenix (sometimes designated a sparrow) or a human head. 3 The 
bird-head has been traced to Kudara (Korea), which had borrowed it 
from China. On certain portraits of Michizane, Kamatari, and Iyeyasu, 
there are to be seen long swords with pommels in the form of a bird's 
head without the ring. These were a later outcome of the ring pom- 
mel, and are said to have been worn in hawking expeditions by court 
nobles in olden times. 4 

The other pommel in Plate I, Fig. 2, also bears strong traces of 
Chinese or Korean workmanship. Within the circular opening there 
are chiselled in positive silhouette two forms conceded to be dragons 
facing one another and holding a gem. This Chinese motive appears 
repeatedly throughout Japanese art, and is the characteristic decoration 
of a group of tsuba known as Namban, which became popular in the 
seventeenth century, and which are dealt with together with the meaning 
of this design on page 74. This early pommel is joined to a broad collar 
by which the whole was fastened to the sword. The collar has upon 
it at the top and bottom a narrow, beaded band. 

1 H. Joly, Sword and Same, p. 18. In the same work (on the plate opposite 
p. 6) there are two ring-pommel swords found in a dolmen in Higo. 

'W. Gowlwd, Metals and Metal Working in Old Japan {Transactions 
Japan Soc, Vol. XIII, p. 29). 

*N. Munro, Prehistoric Japan, p. 413. 

4 H. Joly, Sword and Same, p. 18. 

Early Types of Swords — Ken and Tachi 27 

Upon these swords, in many cases, have been found bronze guards 
or tsuba of varying thickness, but always undecorated (Fig. 3). Though 
oval in form, they resemble in part a bronze guard which is reproduced 
along with one of jade carved with a hydra design, in B. Laufer's 
"Jade" (Plate XXV), and which are accessories to Chinese swords of 
the Han period (206 b.c.-a.d. 220). This jade guard is of interest, not 
only for its intrinsic worth, but also because it may represent a portion 
of the jade armor referred to in the quotation from the Nihongi (p. 24). 
The fact that certain of the swords found in these tombs show strong 
marks of Chinese workmanship would bear out the statement that such 
jade guards might also have been the possessions of certain warriors 
who had their precious weapons buried with them. 

There is found alongside with the swords aforementioned a type of 
pommel quite distinct in conception, the origin of which is a matter of 
much discussion, some writers assigning it to Scythian and Persian art. 1 
It is believed by other authorities, particularly Bashford Dean, 2 to be 
indigenous to Japan, being conceived as a development from the ancient 
Ainu sword. It may be studied from a diagram in the Bulletin cited, 
where its development has been traced in a convincing manner. The 
same sword is reproduced on Plate II in this publication. 

The pommel is copper gilded, of hollow bulbous form, being stuffed 
with pieces of fibre or bits of textiles. It is set at an angle to the hilt, 
and is perforated through the centre with an eye, probably used for the 
passage of a cord by which the sword is suspended. Swords bearing 
this type of pommel are called kabu-tsuchi ("turnip-mallet"), and some 
writers believe them to be the swords referred to both in the Kojiki and 
Nihongi as "mallet-headed." The gilded copper which covers the scab- 
bards of such swords is decorated not only with the straight lines of 
large dots, characteristic of the scabbards and hilts on all of the swords 
from the dolmens, but there is often found a more beautiful decoration 
in the form of a delicate scroll-like tracery, brought out by the use of 
very small dots, in some cases punched or pricked. 

The greatest interest, however, in connection with this mallet-headed 
sword, is awakened in the study of the tsuba which generally accompa- 
nies it. This guard is sometimes plain, but more often it presents the 
first trace of any decoration that has been put upon this important ac- 
cessory (Plate II, Fig. 2) . Always of copper gilded, it is often provided 
with trapezoidal apertures, six, seven, or eight in number, which, while 

1 H. Joly, The Sword and Same, p. 139; and Munro, Prehistoric Japan, 
p. 413- 

1 Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of New York, Vol. XV, p. 231. 

28 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

lightening the tsuba, are so placed as not to take away from its efficacy 
as a guard for the hand. In shape it is oval and pointed at the base, 
resembling, as Joly suggests, the form of the jewel (tama), by which 
name it is sometimes called. 

From the time of the introduction of Buddhism from China through 
Korea in a.d. 552, according to tradition, Japan was in constant com- 
munication with China through the visits of traders, monks, and teachers. 
Her court was modeled after that of the T'ang rulers, and every branch 
of art reflects the elegance of the empire, the decoration of the sword 
serving as an excellent illustration whereby this influence may be traced. 

Among the treasures in the Shosoin at Nara, the building which 
serves as the depository of the art collections belonging to the imperial 
family, there are objects dating from a.d. 756, the year in which Komyo- 
Kogo, consort to the emperor, gave to the nation the personal belongings 
left by her husband. Many of the swords and other weapons are 
Chinese, and are important for the purpose of this study, since they 
served as the models from which were adopted the Japanese swords with 
their ornate fittings, used in court ceremonies for several centuries. 

Among the early specimens of the court tachi are two, each of which 
bears upon the hilt a ring of bells. In the earliest example, a slender 
span of metal adorned with small bells is affixed to either side of the 
hilt, one end of which is secured to the tsuba, the other end welded to 
the cap of the hilt (kashira). 1 The tsuba on this particular sword in the 
Shosoin is small, narrow, and of the shape generally known as shitogi, — 
a name which we are informed was given to this type from its resem- 
blance in form to the rice-cake {shitogi) used in the Shinto ritual. 2 It 
is hollow and of gilded bronze decorated with a finely chased floral pat- 
tern. All of the fittings on this and other early tachi are of exquisite 
workmanship and distinctly different in form from the fittings used on 
the fighting swords. The mountings of the tachi are as follows : ashi; 
tsuba; the cap on the hilt of the form known as kabuto-gane ("helmet 
metal") ; the ring on the hilt for the passage of a cord, known as musubi- 
gane ("knob metal") ; the ornaments for the hilt corresponding to the 
menuki, called tsuka-ai ("hilt companions") ; and the foot of the scab- 
bard known as the isJii-zuki. 3 These early fittings are generally adorned 
with floral designs. It is of interest to note that by this time the pommel 
had taken the form which it preserved practically throughout the f ollow- 

1 For illustrations of this type, see H. Joly, The Sword and Same, p. 14. 
a H. Joly (The Sword and Same, P. 45) traces this form to the Chinese 
guard discussed on p. 27. 

8 F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 211. 


The Court Sword 29 

ing centuries, when it appears wound with braid or covered with the 
skin of the ray (Japanese same, Rhinobatus artnatus). 

While one of these bell-adorned swords in the Shosoin has the 
small shitogi tsuba of very narrow width and thus of no value as a pro- 
tection for the hand, the other has a later form of tsuba, also called 
shitogi. This type may be ascribed to the Fujiwara period (900-1199). 
This guard is similar to the simple form above with the addition of a 
projecting ring on either side, and is the type which was worn at court 
ceremonies in Kyoto up until 1868 (Plate III, Fig. 1). The specimen 
pictured here, though of nineteenth-century workmanship, is a faithful 
reproduction of this form. The decoration, however, is not that found 
on these early shitogi tsuba, which, as was said above, was usually a 
floral scroll design. In this case the decoration is made up of two crests 
— matsukawa bishi ("pine river diamond") and the tachibana, a species 
of small orange {Citrus tachibana)} 

While the shitogi tsuba were suitable for use at court, where all was 
peace and luxury, they would have offered little protection for the war- 
riors, who at that time were constantly engaged in fierce struggles in the 
north and east. Undoubtedly the fighting sword must have been 
equipped with a more efficacious guard for the hand. Though much of 
the fighting was done with bow and arrow, halberd and spear, the sword 
in hand-to-hand fighting was used constantly. This fighting weapon was 
either of tachi form, a slung sword, or of the shape known as katana, a 
sword which was thrust through the belt, and whose scabbard was 
secured to the belt by a cord (sageo) passing through a cleat on the 
side of the scabbard, known as the kurikata. This same cord (sageo) 
was used to tie back the sleeves in time of combat. 2 

In many of the early scrolls (makimono), particularly the one in the 
Boston Fine Arts Museum, known as the Keion makimono, the thir- 

1 The ground is covered with small raised dots, produced with the blows of a 
hollow punch and resembling fish-roe, from which it is said to have received its 
name (nanako). Though this ground decoration was brought to perfection by 
the artists of the Goto school in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, nanako, 
according to H. Joly (Sword and Same, p. 23) is met with on some of the early 
swords at Ise, in a primitive form. There is also an example of this ground on 
a specimen reputed to be of eighth-century workmanship, in the Shosoin at Nara 
(see Toyei Shuko, Vol. I, p. 24). It is an octagonal mirror covered with a "thin 
silver plate done in fish-roe (nanako) ground decorated with landscapes, human 
figures, flowers and birds." This process, as employed by the masterful artists 
of the Goto school, is treated more fully below (p. 60). 

1 Though the word katana, which is also read to, appears in the Kojiki (a.d. 
711), the style of the ancient katana is not known to any certainty. H. Joly 
(The Sword and Same, p. 41) has pointed out the fact that, while the tachi blade 
bears the signature on the tang on the ura (outside when worn slung face down- 
ward), the katana signature is inscribed on the tang on the omote (outside when 
the edge is worn upward in the belt). 

30 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

teenth-century artist has pictured warriors equipped with slung swords 
(tachi) which have tsuba of large size with strengthened rims. Tradi- 
tion tells us that these early fighting swords had guards of several layers 
of leather which were called neri tsuba. They were probably stiffened 
by lacquering or strengthened with a layer of iron in the centre. On 
certain sixteenth-century swords, which are katana, the guard is of 
many layers of leather bound together on the, edge with a copper rim. 1 
Other tsuba of this early period had thin iron plates on either side, 
called dai seppa. In certain cases the plates were punched or chased with 
designs. A similar decoration may be seen on tsuba fitted to ceremonial 
tachi, of a shape called aoi, so named from four perforations on the 
edge of the oval guard, which in form resemble the aoi ("mallow leaf"). 
The decoration on these early guards was along the edge and on the 
seppa dai or space surrounding the opening for the blade. The aoi form 
continued throughout the centuries as one of the favorite shapes for 
tsuba, and is well illustrated by the specimen (Plate X, Fig. 4), which 
is of seventeenth-century workmanship. 

As a fighting weapon, the tachi was superseded by the katana during 
the Ashikaga period. It held its own place, however, as the ceremonial 
weapon carried by nobles at all court functions in Kyoto for seven 
centuries, and was adorned with fittings similar in form to those 
described above on the early tachi, the shitogi and aoi tsuba being the 
only accepted forms for this formal weapon. 

Before departing from the subject of the ceremonial court-sword 
mention should be made of references, occurring in the works of many 
writers on Japanese swords, to the two types of tachi used in the Ashi- 
kaga period by the nobles of the fifth rank and above, and known as 
shiratachi ("white tachi," meaning "silver mounted") ; and kurozukuri 
("black sword"), referring to tachi fitted in black-lacquer mountings, 
worn by nobles of sixth rank and below. Sometimes the kurozukuri 
was carried by an attendant behind the noble wearing the shiratachi. 2 
H. Joly adds a note of interest, describing tachi of great length without 
ashi, which were strapped to the back by a cord passing through the 
kurikata. These, he tells us, were one-handed swords, long and curved, 
which were usually carried bare in actual fighting, the scabbard being 
discarded. They were brandished by the warrior, as he rode horseback. 
This tachi without ashi is an important link between the slung sword and 
the fighting katana so admirably balanced for effective wielding. 

*E. Gilbertson, The Decoration of Swords and Sword Furniture (Trans- 
actions Japan Soc, Vol. Ill, p. 84). 

'H. Joly, The Sword and Same, pp. 21, 22, 23. 





The katana, which was worn thrust through the belt and thus at 
hand for a surprise attack, naturally replaced, as a fighting weapon, 
the tachi, which was either slung at the side or carried by an attendant 
who followed the warrior. H. Joly 1 tells us that at first the katana had 
no tsuba, and was used only by the lower classes. When adopted by 
the samurai for the fighting sword in the Ashikaga period, it was 
equipped with a tsuba and paired with a smaller sword, called the 
wakizashi. These two known as the dai-sho ("long and short") were 
the pride of the samurai, who alone was privileged to wear two swords. 
The katana, the longer of the pair, remained the accepted fighting sword 
throughout the centuries of the feudal regime, and was the weapon for 
personal revenge and the defence of the feudal lord. It varied in length 
according to prescribed rules in different centuries until in 1670 the 
length was settled upon as 2 shaku, 8 sun, 8 fu (88.2 cm). 2 

The shorter sword (wakizashi) was very often uniform in decoration 
with the katana and was always carried in the belt, whereas it was cus- 
tomary when entering a private house for a samurai to lay his katana 
on the katanakake ("sword rack") near the entrance as a matter of 
trust and courtesy to his host. The wakizashi was retained in the belt. 
This smaller sword was generally more elaborately decorated than the 
katana and was the weapon dearest to the heart of the samurai ; with 
il he might follow his lord in death, redeem himself from the disgrace of 
being killed by an enemy or commit suicide in order to uphold and pro- 
claim certain principles or raise a protest against unjust political meas- 
ures. The suicide which was performed with this sword was called 
harakiri or seppuku (literally, "belly-cutting"). This form of self-de- 
struction probably originated in the middle ages when, rather than be 
taken prisoner by an enemy, the samurai preferred to take his own life 
by inflicting the fatal cross-cut. To follow one's lord in death, to per- 
form harakiri as a protest against a moral failure, either of his own or 
his master, were two principles evolved out of the religion of loyalty 

*The Sword and Same, p. 40. 

* H. Joly, Japanese Sword Fittings in the Naunton Coll., p. xvii. 


32 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

(bushido). Though forbidden by Tokugawa Iyeyasu, harakiri persisted, 
and is known to have been practised by subjects of the late Emperor 
Mutsuhito at the time of his death in 1912. The preceding ceremony, 
as well as the performance itself with the final severing of the victim's 
head by a faithful friend, is vividly described by A. B. Mitford in the 
appendix to his "Tales of Old Japan." This account and the story of 
the Forty- Seven Ronins should be read by all who would understand the 
complete absence of fear in the face of death and the spirit of loyalty 
and self-abnegation of the samurai for the sake of his feudal lord. 1 

A third sword sometimes carried by a samurai with the dai-sho was 
the tanto, a small dagger-like weapon fully mounted and generally about 
3.5 cm long. This was worn in the house, and in some cases was pre- 
ferred to the wakizashi for the performance of harakiri, for which 
ceremony it was fitted with a hilt and scabbard of plain white wood. 
When mounted without a tsuba, and used by elderly people or those who 
had retired from active life, the tanto was called aikuchi. The metezashi 
or kwai ken is another of the smaller daggers. When worn by men, its 
customary use was the cutting of the ligaments of armor. When worn 
by a woman, it was her ever-present protector against disgrace or the 
means by which she could release or follow her lord in death ; for with 
it she cut the arteries in her neck, committing the suicide known as 
jigai, with the same staunch bravery with which the samurai performed 
"the happy dispatch," harakiri. 

"Male children born in samurai families wore swords from their 
earliest day, the first was the mamori katana or charm sword, the hilt 
and scabbard of which were covered with brocade, to which was at- 
tached a kinchaku ("purse"). Later, at five years of age, the boy was 
ceremoniously stood upon a go ban ("go-board") to be dressed in his 
first hakama ("trousers"), and another sword was given him. The fit- 
tings of the swords of reduced dimensions which accompanied the first 
kamishimo or ceremonial dress of the child in this gembuku ceremony 
were, of course, small; and they are sometimes called, from the asso- 
ciation with that dress, kamishimo zashi, the same name being also 
sometimes applied to the short sword worn by the fully grown man." 2 

It is evident in what importance the blade must have been held 
throughout many centuries in Japan, for upon its purity and efficacy 
hung the life of the samurai : it was indeed "his living soul." The tests 

'A. Mitford's account of a harakiri ceremony which he witnessed is repro- 
duced in full by I. Nitobe (Bushido, pp. 1 17-120). 

a H. Joly, Japanese Sword Fittings of Naunton Collection, p. 21. 

Nomenclature of the Fittings 33 

to which blades were put form some of the most interesting and surpris- 
ing stories, for they were tried out, not only on the poor unfortunate 
wayfarers, but made to cleave cleanly through many layers of copper. 1 

"The occupation of the swordsmith was in old days the most sacred 
of crafts : he worked in priestly garb, and practised Shinto rites of puri- 
fication, while engaged in the making of a good blade. Before his 
smithy was then suspended the sacred rope of rice-straw (shimenawa), 
which is the oldest symbol of Shinto: none even of his family might 
enter there, or speak to him ; and he ate only of food cooked with holy 
fire." 2 With such reverence for the sword, there naturally developed 
alongside a desire to beautify the hilt and the scabbard. 

From the early sixteenth century on, the sword had lavished upon 
it the art of many generations of craftsmen, who literally painted in 
metal exquisite designs upon the various fittings. The mountings of the 
dai-sho have a different nomenclature from those of the tachi (above, 
p. 28). Of these the tsuba or sword-guard, because of the extent of 
its surface, received the attention of many of the best artists. As 
previously explained, it is that plaque of metal which fits between the 
tsuka ("hilt") and the blade, thus affording a guard for the hand. Its 
changing form will be traced throughout the following chapters. 3 It 
was securely fastened to the tang (nakago) by a collar of metal called 
the fuchi beneath which were one or two washers (seppa) which when 
decorated and large, as was the case on early tsuba, were called dai 
seppa. The fuchi almost always supplements in decoration the kashira 
("pommel"), the cap which terminates the hilt. On either side there 
is an opening through which passes the itomaki ("wrapping of the hilt"), 
thus securing this fitting tightly. Immediately below the kashira on the 
hilt are two ornaments known as menuki. They cover the mekugi 
(rivets fastening the nakago or tang), and they aid in gaining a firmer 
grip upon the weapon. Occasionally there are other menuki which 
decorate the scabbard (saya). When of a larger size than the ordinary, 
they are termed kanamono (literally, "hardware"), a most misleading 
term, for they are of a purely artistic nature and quality. This name is 
also applied to the fittings of the tobacco pouch (tabako ire). 

The triangular opening in the centre of the tsuba is that into which 

1 Several detailed accounts are given by H. Joly (Sword and Same, 
pp. 1 17-127). 

' L. Hearn, Japan: an Interpretation, p. 139 (London, 1905). 

* An average size for katana tsuba is 7.5 x 8 cm ; for wakizashi tsuba 
6.2 x 6.6 cm ; for tanto tsuba 4.5 x 6 cm. 

34 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

fits the metal band (habaki), that secures the tang. 1 In the case of a 
tsuba for a wakizashi, there are two openings on either side of this cen- 
tral one, called the riohitsu. These are often plugged with shakudo or 
pewter, indicating their transference to another sword. M. de Tressan 2 
states that katana tsuba never had two hitsu. Occasionally also there 
are two round openings near the edge of the guard. These are known 
as udenuki ana, holes through which is threaded the udenuki, a cord or 
loop of braid attached to the handle of the sword to keep it from slipping 
from the hand. 

The riohitsu are the openings through which pass two of the most 
decorative fittings, the kozuka and the kogai. Each of these slips 
into a groove on either side of the scabbard, sometimes finished with a 
narrow, ornamented band at the top, called uragawara. The kozuka is 
the handle of a, small knife (ko katana), with a single edge sometimes 
engraved with a poem or other motive, such as a sword with hilt in the 
shape of a vajra. The handle, though affording a limited field for the 
artist (9.05 by 1.03 cm), has been pleasingly ornamented, especially by 
the Goto masters (see p. 60). The uses assigned to this small weapon 
have been many and various, some of which seem to be without founda- 
tion. "It is only in a few cheap novels and late prints of theatrical plays 
that the kozuka with its blade is thrown at an enemy, and the origin of 
the tale which makes of it and the kogai kinds of skewers with which to 
identify the enemy one has killed in battle, would be highly interesting ; 
in truth, the kogatana on the sword goes back to hoary antiquity, and it 
had its uses as a small knife, say of a pocket-knife." 3 

The kogai, on the other hand, does not possess a blade, but is in the 
form of a skewer, either of one piece or divided lengthwise through the 
centre. This latter form, called warikogai, was probably used as a pair 
of chopsticks or as hairpins to re-arrange the disheveled locks of the 
warrior. H. Joly traces the origin of the- kogai to the hairpin and in 
connection with Chinese crowns (kamizashi). This object is also dec- 
orated, as is the kozuka, on the handle. Together with the menuki, these 

1 Generally the habaki is a band of bronze or copper covered with gilt and 
hatched with diagonal markings which tend to "bite" the scabbard and secure 
the sword from slipping. E. Gilbertson (Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. I, 
p. 79) speaks of two decorated habaki, one of gold decorations by Somin, one of 
shakudo nanako with relief of gold in Got5 style. Such decorations are rare. 

'Bull, de la Soc. Franco- J 'aponaise, Vol. XXVIII, p. 57. 

* H. Joly and K. Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 97. This is 
probably a rejoinder to remarks made by A. Doisy (Transactions Japan Soc, 
Vol. Ill, p. 101), or has reference to Hokusai's drawing reproduced by S. Bing 
(Artistic Japan. Vol. I, p. 133). An early dug-out tsuba reproduced by Okabe 
Kakuya (Japanese Sword Guards, p. 7) shows an opening for a kozuka. 

Alloys Used for Mounts 35 

three fittings are styled mitokoromono ("objects of three places"). On 
the fine old swords they were made by the same artist with extreme care. 
The word soroimono is the term applied to a set of fittings made by one 
artist, which includes the mitokoromono, as well as the fucliikashira. 

In distinguishing the katana from the tachi, there has already been 
mentioned the kurigata and the sageo, by means of which the katana is 
secured in the belt. The lower end of the scabbard of both the katana 
and the wakizashi is capped by a decorative fitting called the kojiri, 
which is often similar to the fuchi, without the openings at the side. 
The kojiri is occasionally elongated on the smaller weapons. A familiar 
design is the lobster, generally of copper, whose antennae stretch up 
the side of the scabbard ; or a common decoration is a monkey, executed 
in iron, whose long arm reaches up toward the other mounts which may 
represent a persimmon or an equally desirable object, such as the moon. 

On all these fittings there is evidenced the mastery of technique 
characteristic of the Japanese artist and craftsman. Not only has he 
employed iron and steel moulded and treated so as to produce many 
varied effects, colors, and surfaces; he has also mixed certain precious 
metals into alloys of indescribable shades and beauty, gaining unusual 
colors through pickling processes. These alloys were used with the 
greatest effectiveness in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 

The following data concerning alloys have been culled from the ex- 
cellent article by W. Gowland. 1 

The alloy par excellence is called karakane ("Chinese metal"). It 
is quite distinct from bronze, since it contains lead as an essential con- 
stituent. Karakane is a name applied to a varied group of mixtures of 
metals of the copper-tin-lead series in which the proportions of copper 
may range from 71 to 89 per cent; of tin, from 2 to 8 per cent; and of 
lead, from 5 to 15 per cent. 

Sentoku, a yellow bronze, consists of copper, tin, and zinc, and occu- 
pies an intermediate position between karakane and brass. 

Shakudo is a purely Japanese alloy which is of a dark copper color 
when cast; however, after being treated in a boiling solution (see p. 92 
of article referred to) , it assumes a blue black or violet patina which is 
very beautiful. There are no less than fifteen grades of shakudo. The 
presence of at least 4 per cent of gold is absolutely essential to obtain the 
finest black surface with the violet sheen. The analysis of a good quality 
of shakudo shows 4.16 per cent gold, .08 per cent silver, and 95.77 per 
cent copper. This alloy possesses physical properties which are of ex- 

1 Metals and Metal Working in Old Japan (Transactions of Japan Soc, 
Vol. XIII, pp. 20-100). 

36 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

treme importance to the worker of metals. It can be cast into any form, 
can be hammered into sheets, and drawn into wire. 

Shibuichi is of equal importance in ornamental metal-work with 
shakudo, and is likewise a Japanese product. Its name denotes that it 
consists of one part of silver in four of the alloy ; that is, one part of 
silver is alloyed with three parts of copper. Shibuichi is rather a general 
than a specific name, as under it must be included several other alloys, 
particularly sambo-gin, consisting of one part silver and two parts cop- 
per. This combination is the one chiefly used for sword-mounts. As is 
the case with shakudo, this alloy when cast possesses no beauty, its color 
being similar to a pale gun-metal or common bronze. When subjected 
to appropriate treatment in boiling solutions, it assumes a patina of 
charming shades of gray which gives it a unique position among art 
alloys. , 


, The subject of the form and decoration of the tsuba of the Japanese 
sword, used between the periods Gempei (twelfth century) and Ashikaga 
(fourteenth to sixteenth century), is a question which has been much 
discussed, and with scant result as to a definite conclusion. It must be 
remembered that in that period occurred the wars between the Minamoto 
and Taira clans, the Mongolian invasion, the fall of Kamakura, and that 
bitter civil war which commenced in the Onin period (1467-68), and out 
of which emerged the organizations of the daimyo which became fully 
developed under the Tokugawa shoguns. Undoubtedly the fighting 
sword used in these troubled times was equipped with a stout tsuba. It 
is generally conceded by those who have gone deeply into this subject, 
that the early iron guards were solid and plain, the work of swordsmiths 
and armorers. H. Joly 1 differentiates between the tsuba of these two 
groups of workers in the following observation : "Authorities agree that 
the swordsmiths' guards were thick and rimless, those of the armorers, 
on the contrary, thin in the web with a thick rim to strengthen them." 
They were circular, oval, or after the fifteenth century of mokko form, 
— a shape which resembles the aoi tsuba, being oval and quadrilobed, the 
four indentations sometimes so pronounced as to make the tsuba almost 
cruciform and again in later times, especially as used by Goto Ichijo in 
the nineteenth century, so slightly indented as only to suggest the mokko 
outline. Probably the work of the armorers was of iron, while that of 
the swordsmiths was likely of steel, the metal which they forged with 
exceeding skill. Undoubtedly they calculated with an extreme nicety to 
balance the blade with a tsuba of proper lightness or weight for effective 
wielding. Few of these early tsuba seem to have survived the ages, 
probably for the reason that they were cast into the furnace as the 
fashion for decoration came in, and the metal was redeemed for future 
use. The hammer-marks on the tsuba which remain to answer the 
description vary from the mere irregularities of folded and pounded 
iron to those more decorative marks left by the tools of the armorer. 
Simple diaper patterns inlaid in brass, suggestive likewise of armor, 
may also be of this period and the work of armorers. With the advent 
of the early Portuguese adventurers in the sixteenth century, firearms 

1 Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 98. 

38 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

were introduced which, with their inlaid surfaces, augmented to a great 
degree this style of decoration. The daimyo were keenly anxious to 
obtain the weapons of the foreigners ; for the authority of the Ashikaga 
shoguns had been cast off, and each chief was striving for local 
supremacy. 1 

In the following illustrations four tsuba are reproduced which pic- 
ture certain of these foregoing types. They may be attributed to the 
fifteenth and sixteenth century makers, all are unsigned, for it was not 
until the seventeenth century that it became customary to inscribe the 
name on the seppa dai. The first is a large circular tsuba of black iron 
without any riohitsu (Plate III, Fig. 2). The surface is covered with 
hammer-marks characteristic of the blows left by armorer's tools. En- 
circling the edge are crude forms suggesting plum-blossoms, while the 
centre of the tsuba has upon it two concentric rows of marks resembling 
fallen petals. , 

The three other tsuba are decorated with inlay of two distinct kinds. 
The design on Fig. 3 is brought out by the process known as honsogan 
("true inlay"). There is first cut into the metal foundation a groove 
or patch, as the case may be, in the form of the decoration to be inlaid. 
Into this is hammered the contrasting metal. In later work, such as was 
brought to perfection by the Nara and Hamano workers, the groove was 
narrower at the top than the base, so that when the inlay was hammered 
in, it was thus secured tightly. When honsogan is flat, it is known as 
hirazogan; when projecting above the surface, it is called takasogan. 
Brass wire is the material inlaid on each of these guards, and though 
it unfortunately has come loose or entirely disappeared in spots, the 
design may clearly be traced on both tsuba. The first is a large circular 
guard, both sides of which are covered, save the space immediately sur- 
rounding the opening for the blade, with a diaper pattern suggestive of 
bamboo weaving, known as kago-ami ("basket weave"). The second, 
also of iron, is of mokko form, and has a perforation for the insertion 
of a kozuka (Plate IV, Fig. 1). The obverse of this guard is covered 
with a design known as the "Korean wave pattern," more properly a 
Chinese diaper pattern representing waves. At the right floats a peony 
blossom from which flames issue, an interesting motive, but one whose 
meaning is obscure. The peony (botan) was brought over to Japan 
from China, where it bears the name fu kuci hua ("flower of riches 
and honor"). Possibly the flames suggest fame, as the peony is the 
"king of flowers." On the reverse of the same tsuba, two diaper pat- 

1 W. Griffis, Mikado's Empire, p. 248. 



1, Tsuba with Decoration in honzugan ( p . 38) and 2, Nunome-zogan (p. 39). 

g^fQISnY OF ui«k»^ LianAUt 


terns are inlaid on the field divided longitudinally. On the left is a 
design of tendrils, termed karakusa; on the right, the swastika (manji) 
fret, — a swastika combined with a key pattern. Though this mystic 
diagram may have been used as a decoration prior to the introduction of 
Buddhism from China, in a.d. 552, it now has the same significance in 
Japan as in China : it is regarded as the symbol of Buddha's heart, as 
well as the mark for "ten thousand." 

Strongly resembling these two tsuba in appearance is Fig. 2 in 
Plate IV, presumably of the same period. The design, however, is 
brought out in silver and inlaid by a process distinctly different from 
honed gan, known as nunome-sogan. Kunomc means "cloth meshes," 
and describes a cross-hatching which is cut or filed over the field to be 
inlaid, making an effect like the texture of weaving. On this roughened 
surface is hammered the contrasting metal, which adheres to the teeth- 
like projections raised by the cross-hatching. In the case of the delicate 
design, such as the three diaper patterns on the tsuba under considera- 
tion, the ground must have been prepared with great care, lest the filings 
extend beyond the surface to be inlaid. This tsuba of brown iron is 
slightly oval, with an opening for kosuka and long slender perforations 
on either side, probably made to lessen the weight. The kago-ami 
diaper is again used, this time in combination with a star-like diaper, 
and a third all-over pattern called the shippo tsunagi no wuchimi hana- 
bishi, that is to say, a hanabisJii ("flower-diamond") within a con- 
nected shippo. The shippo, of Indian-Buddhistic origin, are the seven 
precious things, generally enumerated as gold, silver, emerald, coral, 
agate, crystal, and pearl. These materials were used as inlay on many 
objects, and thus the name shippo has come to describe the cloisonne 
enamel in Japan. 1 The shippo form in this design is likely the pearl. 
The "hana-bishi within a connected shippo" is one of the takaramono 
("precious things") associated with the Seven Gods of Luck (Shichi- 
fukujin), who travel in the takarabune ("treasure-ship") loaded with 
these precious objects. The hana ("flower") used as the centre of the 
design is the blossom of the water-caltrop {Trapa incisa, Japanese hishi), 
which bears a prism-shaped nut ; hence anything in the shape of a prism 
is styled hishi-gata ("diamond-shaped"). 2 This diaper pattern appears 
in lacquer, brocade, pottery, and enamel, and was adopted as a crest by 
Matsura, daimyo of Katsumoto. 3 

'See J. Bowes, Notes on Shippo ; also C. Salwey, Japanese Enamels Ancient 
and Modern (Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. VII, pp. 228-247). 
'J. Bowes, Japanese Pottery, p. 472. 
* H. Strohl, Japanisches Wappenbuch Nihon Moncho, p. 132. 

40 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

Contemporaneous, if not of earlier date, are the tsuba reproduced in 
Plates V and VI. They are of iron and covered with a patina of fine 
smoothness. While age has undoubtedly done much to produce this 
"skin," it is more than likely that one of the several methods known as 
sabi-dashikata ("rust-summoning process") was applied to some of 
these tsuba. The old iron workers had recipes for producing patina, 
which they guarded with great secrecy and kept among their hid en 
("secret processes") handed down from generation to generation. Some 
of these methods have been outlined in published accounts, but almost all 
serious searchers after authentic information on tsuba agree that these 
same accounts are intended to deceive rather than instruct. The one 
quoted by F. Brinkley 1 is typical and full of quaint fancies. Once the 
patina has become scratched or rubbed, the tsuba loses much of its 
value ; for it is the color and "feel" of the iron, as well as the handling 
and design, which combine to make the artistic appeal of these tsuba. 
It is very difficult to restore a patina that has become harmed. From a 
personal letter of Joly, who spent much of his time on the study of 
Japanese sword-mounts, and who left the most valuable information 
which we have concerning them, is quoted the following paragraph: — 
, "The problem of patinating iron and Japanese alloys is far from 
simple ; I have worked at it for more years than I care to remember, and 
have collected many recipes, some of which do work. — In years gone by 
I can still remember a dozen or so bottles of pickling solutions gathering 
dust on the shelves of my laboratory, some of which worked on shakudo, 
others on shibuichi, which one day were all turned into a larger bottle, 
and the resulting mess, the composition of which is wholly unknown, 
does patinate anything it is applied to. — Thank goodness I have enough 
of it to last as long as I shall, unless the bottle gets broken !" 

The "resulting mess" was never analyzed, and unfortunately Mr. 
Joly's valuable researches were brought to a close by his premature 
death in 1920. 

In the laboratories of Field Museum of Natural History, H. W. 
Nichols, Associate Curator in the Department of Geology, has made 
interesting experiments in patinating iron and steel, having reduced the 
elaborate and sometimes unattainable ingredients of the Japanese recipes 
to certain chemical substitutes which combine to produce like effects. It 
is hoped that to those desirous of restoring patina who have read in 
despair of "the clay from a certain Kyoto cemetery" and "the charcoal 
ashes over which eels have been roasted," and such Japanese fancies 

1 Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 238. 



Iron Tsuba of Early period (pp. 40-41). 


eo H 


Kanayama Tsuba* 41 

necessary to produce patina, the account in the Appendix (p. 163) will 
prove useful. 

The guard reproduced in Plate V, Fig. 1, is of characteristic early 
simplicity, and covered with a patina which gives a wax-like effect to 
the iron. Of medium thickness and circular, the tsuba is decorated with 
two chiselled grooves, bounded by fine lines. The holes for kozuka and 
kogai are plugged with shakudo. 

An exceptional example of early iron work, giving forth when 
struck a clear bell-like sound, is to be seen in Plate V, Fig. 2. It is of 
brown iron with a smooth patina, and in form suggests a six-petaled 
flower. Each lobe is delicately outlined with a finely cut line terminating 
in a scroll. A deep groove is cut in the centre, probably with the pur- 
pose of lessening the weight. The foldings of the iron can be clearly 
seen when examining the guard in a good light. 

Of the type of tsuba termed Kanayama, very few examples have 
been pictured in the various works on sword-fittings. M. de Tressan, 1 
in his series of articles "L'Evolution de la garde de sabre japonaise," 
speaks of certain tsuba which he ascribes to the thirteenth and four- 
teenth century as "rather large, very thin, circular, and frequently 
with a rounded flange. The surface, while not polished, does not have 
the depressions which are to be seen on sixteenth-century pieces. The 
patina is dark, and the decoration consists of sober negative silhouettes 
(kage zukashi), representing radishes, cloves, plum-blossoms, and the 
like, conventionalized." In a later article, the same author 2 characterizes 
certain tsuba as "Kanayama in Yamashiro, which from the end of the 
sixteenth century produced silhouettes, often with the motive of the 
calabash, dear to Hideyoshi (No. 1272 of the collection of Gillot; a 
thin guard of large size, with projecting flange decorated in a negative 
silhouette of calabash flowers and crests)." 

This last description accords well with the Kanayama tsuba selected 
for illustration by Okabe Kakuya in his catalogue of sword-guards ex- 
hibited at the Fine Arts Museum, Boston, in 1908. The date attributed 
to that specimen in the sixteenth century. The name Kanayama has met 
with wide discussion ; even Joly seemed embarrassed when in his review 

^Bull. de la Soc. Franco-Jap., Vols. XVIII, XIX, XX, XXII, XXV, XXVI, 

'La garde de sabre japonaise (Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, Vol. I, p. 296). 
According to Griffis (Mikado's Empire, p. 238), "Hideyoshi's banner consisted 
of a cluster of gourds. At first it was a single gourd. After each battle another 
was added until at last it became an imposing sheaf. The standard bearer car- 
ried aloft at the head of the columns a golden representation of the original 
model, and wherever Hideyoshi's banner moved, there was the centre of victory." 

Of-z Japanese Sword-Mounts 

of M. de Tressan's articles 1 he asked the following question: "Does 
any one know definitely what was called Kanayama tsuba in the seven- 
teenth or eighteenth centuries, or are we all groping in the dark ?" 

Though the first specimen on Plate VI might be labeled by some 
"Kanayama," it seems wiser and less dogmatic to do as others have done, 
and group similar early pieces under "archaic tsuba." Undoubtedly 
such guards are excellent representations of the earliest tsuba with per- 
forated designs, which were evidently applied with an idea of decoration. 
Other earlier perforations were not of a preconceived, decorative char- 
acter, but were mainly made to lessen the weight. 

This tsuba (Plate VI, Fig. i), presumably of sixteenth-century 
workmanship, accords in detail with De Tressan's first description of 
Kanayama tsuba cited above. It is large, thin, of brown iron, and per- 
forated with designs representing a plum-blossom and three cloves. The 
plum (umc), symbol of longevity, is an ever present motive in Japanese 
art. The clove (choji) is more unusual, though often seen with the 
takaramono, where it has replaced the rhinoceros-horn (chiieh) of the 
Chinese in their series of precious objects, known as the pa pao. In 
Japan, the clove is used as a perfume and purifier, being steeped in hot 
water above the charcoal brazier known as the choji-buro. The clove 
has been adopted as the motive for several crests, among these that of 
Matsudaira, daimyo of Kameyama ; but it is hardly safe to say that this 
design here is a primitive form of crest and thus the insignia for any 
particular family, though such a theory is tenable. 

Another tsuba reproduced in Plate VI, Fig. 2, is also of brown iron 
and decorated with a perforated design. This guard is likely the work 
of an armorer of the Myochin family (p. 50), whose early members 
made tsuba with raised rims, and who occasionally added slight perfora- 
tions. While very thin in the web, the edge is rounded and heavy. The 
only decoration is a conch-shell (hora) in openwork, which is one of 
the most important of the "eight happy omens" (pa chi hsiang), which 
are among the signs to be seen on the Buddha's feet. The hora signal- 
izes the voice of Buddha. The travelling Buddhist priests of Japan, 
belonging to the Shugendo sect and called Yamabushi ("mountain war- 
riors"), carried along with their travelling box, rosary, and sword, a 
trumpet made of a conch-shell, such as was used by chieftains. As is 
mentioned in the introduction, these warrior priests became thoroughly 
militarized in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; and, living in the 
monastery of Hiyeizan, they were a constant menace to the peace of the 

1 Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, Vol. I, p. 369. 

The Tomoye 43 

capital. They were well stocked with weapons, and it is not improbable 
that this tsuba with the significant conch was made to adorn one of their 
swords. , 

Skillfully cut in negative silhouette is the dragon-fly, to be seen in 
Fig. 3 of Plate VI. The tsuba is thin, of dark brown iron, and resembles 
the work of the armorers. A larger guard with rounded rim, but with 
a similar design and like treatment is attributed by P. Vautier 1 to the 
Myochin workers of the fourteenth or fifteenth century. This motive, 
the dragon-fly (akitsu), is generally accepted as the symbol of the king- 
dom of Japan, and the origin of the idea is traced to the legend recounted 
in the Kojiki and Nihongi of the Emperor Jimmu's view of the island 
from a mountain top. He is said to have thought the kingdom looked 
like a dragon-fly touching its tail with its mouth. From this it received 
its name Akitsu-shima. Chamberlain, 2 in his translation of the 
Kojiki, disagrees, however, with this interpretation of the word akitsu. 

The design which is chiselled in openwork on a fourth tsuba of this 
period is one of great antiquity and one whose significance has caused 
much ink to flow (Plate VI, Fig. 4). It consists of two comma-shaped 
figures called futatsu ("two") tomoye. When three such motives are 
grouped together, the design is known as mitsu ("three") tomoye (see 
Plate X, Fig. 1). The tomoye is almost identical in shape with the 
magatama, prehistoric ornaments cut from various stones and found in 
the dolmens along with tubular and round beads. Whether the tomoye 
represents a magatama is a question worthy of consideration. When in 
the form of the futatsu-tomoye , this design is similar to the Chinese 
diagram yang and yin, representing the masculine and feminine princi- 
ples of nature. The mitsu-tomoye is thought by some to represent these 
two principles plus the creative element. This interpretation seems 
reasonable, especially when the design is applied to the mallet of the God 
of Wealth, Daikoku (Plate LV, Fig. 3), which, when struck, is em- 
powered to create great riches. But as the same design appears on the 
drums of the Thunder God, Raiden (Plate XXXI, Fig. 3), on ridge- 
poles and tiles of roofs, one is inclined to lay particular stress on the 
remarks of M. de Visser. 3 "The more I reflect upon it, the more I feel 
inclined to accept Hirth's explanation of the mitsu-tomoe and futatsu- 
tomoe ('two commas') as the rolling thunder. Its frequent appearance 
on lanterns, flags, tiles, and in olden times, on the tomo or leather shield 

*Japanische Stichblatter und Schwertzieraten, Sammlung G. Oeder, p. 2, 
No. 3. 

' Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. I, pp. 13 and 135. 
* The Dragon in China and Japan, p. 105. 

44 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

worn around the wrist by archers, and its frequent use as a badge of 
arms may be explained by its magic power, averting evil and, in some 
cases, bringing fertilizing rains. I formerly believed it to be the yang 
and yin symbol, the third comma being the t'ai kih (the primordium, 
from which yang and yin emanate) . This primordium, which in China 
is represented by the whole figure, should by mistake have been repre- 
sented by the Japanese by means of a third comma. Yang and yin, light 
and darkness, however, are represented by one white and one black fig- 
ure, somewhat resembling commas and forming together a circle. It 
would be very strange if the ancient Japanese, who closely imitated 
the Chinese models, had altered this symbol in such a way that its funda- 
mental meaning got lost ; for replacing the two white and black commas 
with two or three black ones would have had this effect. Moreover, in 
Japanese divination, based on the Chinese diagrams, the original Chinese 
symbol of yang and yin is always used and placed in the midst of the 
eight diagrams. Thus the futatsu-tomoe and mitsu-tomoe are apparently 
quite different from this symbol, and Hirth rightly identifies them with 
the ancient Chinese spiral, representing thunder. Moreover, I found the 
same explanation of the tomoe in the Japanese work Shiojiri, which 
gives a picture of two kinds of spirals, ancient symbols of thunder and 
clouds. Finally, on Japanese prints the dragon is often accompanied by 
a huge spiral, representing the thunderstorm caused by him." 

One should add the observations of A. J. Koop, 1 "One of the most 
fascinating motives is the tornoye or comma-shape, upon the origin, 
significance, and etymology of which much has been written. In blazon- 
ing a mon founded upon the tomoye, it is important to notice the direc- 
tion taken by the tail of the comma ; when this is clockwise, the blazonry 
is migi-domoye or 'right comma' and conversely hidari-domoye ('left 
comma'). The hidari mitsu domoye ('three left commas') is found as 
the mon of several Shinto shrines. Five daimyo families also bore the 
three left-hand commas as their chief mon, and we find it used by sev- 
eral other prominent families, notably the Sho, who have in their time 
held the kingship of the Luchu Archipelago. Two right-hand commas 
forming a circle, the heads side by side, compose the mon which is 
blazoned as migi-futatsu domoye, and serves as an identification mark 
in representations of the most popular figure in recent Japanese history 
— Oishi Yoshio (or Kuranosuke) whose noble leadership of the band 
of forty-seven faithful samurai is the subject of numberless novels, 
plays, and sets of prints." 

1 Construction and Blazonry of Mon {Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. IX, 
P- 305). 




flUMERSmr OF Illinois imw 

*. - v .. v ~--.^ v 

Shingen Tsuba 45 

An unusual group of tsuba popular in the late sixteenth century and 
afterwards is made up of those guards known as Shingen tsuba, a name 
which was derived from a sixteenth-century warrior, Takeda Shingen 
(Takeda Harunobu, 1521-73), who is said to have preferred this style 
of guard, as it combined strength and lightness. Under the category 
"Shingen," four different types are generally listed, though a fifth ap- 
pears in the drawing in the Boston Catalogue of Okabe Kakuya "Jap- 
anese Sword Guards" (p. 21). It is square, that form which is said to 
have been used in Ashikaga days for scaling walls, the sword having 
been set up as a step. Another virtue, which has been pointed out, is 
that the square tsuba prevented the sword from rolling when laid down. 
The following descriptions include, however, the Shingen tsuba usually 
met with. 

1. So-called Mukade ("centipede") tsuba are made of iron in 
which a centipede is inlaid in brass or copper wire. Mukade tsuba of 
Myochin and Umetada workmanship have been found with the in- 
scription, "Made to the taste of Takeda Shingen." 

2. There are those of solid iron, with neat centres of brass, to the 
edges of which is affixed a weaving of brass and copper wires which is 
bound to the foundation disk by a rim, usually decorated simply. 

3. Another type is of solid iron, bored at intervals and laced with 
braided or twisted wires of copper and brass. 

4. The fourth type is a chrysanthemoid form, chiselled in open 
work and laced or woven tightly with copper and brass wire. 

The second and third types appear on Plate VII. Fig. 1 is circular 
with a centre of brass covered with hammer-marks similar to those on 
the tsuba in Plate III, Fig. 2. To this brass disk is affixed a core of 
woven wires of copper and brass, covering over a thin iron field. The 
whole is bounded by a rim of shibuichi engraved to represent a rope. 
This specimen, though probably of seventeenth or eighteenth century 
workmanship, is an excellent example of this type of Shingen tsuba. 
The other guard (Plate VII, Fig. 2) is of mokko form and entirely of 
iron with a dark brown patina. The edge is outlined in a relief of two 
wires of brass, one plain, the other twisted. Within the field are two 
more reliefs of wire combinations which accentuate the mokkd outline, 
and which appear to be held in place by the passage of wires through 
sixteen drilled openings. Through the outer eight openings wires pass 
over the edge of the guard crossing at intervals. This tsuba may safely 
be ascribed to the sixteenth or seventeenth century. 


Under the Ashikaga shoguns (i 338-1 573) the power of the military 
governors (shugo) increased to such an extent that there was established 
between them and their retainers djito (literally, "chief of the land") a 
vassalage which severed the direct communication between the latter and 
the shogun as it had existed in former times. At the same time the 
shugo were not strong enough to completely control these minor land- 
holders. Insurrections between them occurred constantly, and the 
frontier lines were continually being disputed and shifted. Japan was 
literally torn asunder into a number of semi-independent bodies, with 
masters ever-changing. 1 

Under these circumstances the sword took on an added importance. 
In the various provinces, schools of metal-workers developed who 
devoted their entire time toward the making of armor and especially to- 
ward the perfecting and embellishing of the sword for the resident 
feudal lords. In spite of the dark aspect of these times, great artists 
arose, such as the landscape painter Sesshu and the master worker in 
metal, Kaneiye, both of whom bear witness to the statement that the 
arts, in the Ashikaga period, advanced to a remarkable degree. There 
occurred during those years a renaissance of the Chinese influence which 
left its traces in all branches of art; for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu and 
Ashikaga Yoshimasa are among the great patrons who worked inten- 
sively for their nation's growth along cultural lines. 

Although Goto Yujo (1435 or 1440- 15 12), whose work is discussed 
in a following chapter, is conceded to have been the originator of work- 
ing in relief as a form of decorative art in metal, to Kaneiye must be 
granted the place as first having applied upon iron tsuba the processes 
which Goto Yujo used only upon the smaller sword ornaments. The 
date of the first Kaneiye is one of the much debated questions in the 
involved study of sword-guards. M. de Tressan, 2 in his chapter on 
Kaneiye, after discussing the opinions of Hayashi, Hara, and other 
authorities, has come to the conclusion that he must have flourished 
during the period 1480- 1530, between the time of Goto Yujo and 
Nobuiye I, of whom some would make him a pupil. Okabe Kakuya 3 

1 K. Hara, Introduction to the History of Japan, pp. 216-217. 
* L'fivolution de la garde de sabre japonaise (Bull, de la Soc. Franc 0- 
Japonaise, Vols. XIX-XX, p. 20). 
'Japanese Sword Guards, p. 46. 


Kaneiye 47 

also places him in the sixteenth century ; and H. Joly, in the last of his 
excellent catalogues on Japanese tsuba, says, "The name Kaneiye has 
been adopted by several craftsmen, the first of whom lived at the end of 
the Ashikaga period, and is usually termed Oshodai Kaneiye (Mr. Aki- 
yama says that his work was an improvement on the Onin tsuba) ; others 
Shodai and Mei jin Shodai, followed him closely, and others again 
imitated him, either before 1600 or afterwards." 1 Lastly, as to the date 
of the founding of the Kaneiye school, Bashford Dean, 2 in his lumin- 
ous chapter on Kaneiye, observes, "The first generation appears to 
have flourished during the last quarter of the sixteenth century — some 
experts say much earlier, even a century. The second generation dates 
roundly from 1600 to 1650, and the third generation from the middle to 
the end of the seventeenth century." 

It may be seen from the stress put upon this question, in what im- 
portance Kaneiye tsuba are held. Out of the many thousand signed 
ones whose signatures generally read "Made by Kaneiye, who lived in 
Fushimi in Yamashiro" (and these have probably been added long 
afterwards), there are very few genuine Kaneiye tsuba, as a collector 
will readily realize when he has the fortune to look upon an authentic 
work from the master's hand. Three distinct Kaneiye who worked 
before the eighteenth century are thought to have existed, judging 
from the technique and decoration of specimens determined as originals. 

The tsuba of Kaneiye Shodai are usually of elongated, oval form 
or occasionally of mokko form, of a very hard quality of iron, the sub- 
jects of decoration being personages, classical, or religious, sculptured in 
sharp relief, with inlay of silver or gold on the faces and ornaments. 
The form of tsuba known as kobushigata, in outline resembling a closed 
fist (kobushi), is said to have been introduced by him. 

Kaneiye Nidai, whose work is held by most experts as superior to 
Kaneiye Shodai, worked in lower relief with great simplicity, and 
exquisitely depicted the landscapes so suggestive of Sesshit and the Kano 
school. A characteristic of Kaneiye Nidai is the finishing of the edge, 
which is often irregular and bordered by a folding over of the metal in 
very low relief. , 

The third Kaneiye, whose tsuba are heavy and generally round, pre- 
ferred birds and flowers as his subjects of decoration. The tsuba of 

1 H. Joly and K. Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 109. See also M. 
de Tressan, Quelques problemes relatifs a l'historie de la garde de sabre japonaise 
(Ostasiatische Zeitschrift, Vol. II, pp. 434-436). 

'Notes on Arms and Armor, p. 69. 

48 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

all three are remarkable for the effect of pliability which has been 
given to the carefully worked iron. In the early specimens the reliefs 
of precious metals are sparing, but applied with remarkable effectiveness, 
while the later followers of the Kaneiye school frequently used gold and 
silver in higher relief. , 

Since the greatness of the Kaneiye artists was recognized even by 
their contemporaries, numerous followers and copyists of varying de- 
grees of ability sprang up and endeavored to supply the demand for these 
desirable tsuba. As was observed above, there are thousands of guards 
signed "Kaneiye," many of which are very evidently poor copies or late 
productions. Distinctions have been worked out by which the genuine 
signatures may be identified, such as a sharp cutting of the hook stroke 
in the iye, but it is not safe to rely on these incidental facts. The art 
expressed, and the treatment of the medium of the tsuba under consid- 
eration, are the only real bases on which to test a genuine Kaneiye. 

To appreciate the meaning and appeal of these artists, one must 
consider the philosophy of the Zen sect of Buddhism, which had such 
an influence on Sesshu, the artist from whose works came much of the 
inspiration of the three Kaneiye, especially Kaneiye Nidai. In the 
revival of Chinese culture in the Ashikaga period, there appeared in the 
paintings of many artists, especially Sesshu, that spirit of the grand calm 
of nature which followers of the Zen sect sought for in their practice 
of deep contemplation and the mental concentration on the absolute. 
"The Zen sect was the most influential among the samurai class in old 
Japan, and still has many adherents among educated men. Through the 
practice of Zazen, its believers acquired presence of mind, calm resigna- 
tion to destiny, renunciation of worldly desires and, above all, fearless- 
ness before death, all these qualities greatly contributing to the forma- 
tion of the spirit of Japan called Bushido." 1 , 

This Buddhistic spirit pervades certain of the tsuba of the Kaneiye 
to a remarkable degree. On these limited fields and through the recal- 
citrant medium of iron, these masters have in rare cases captured and 
interpreted some truly noble landscapes. The close of man's earthly 
career and the still solitude of the tomb are remarkably suggested on the 
mokkd-lovmzd guard in Plate VIII, Fig. i. 

On the reverse, a silver crescent moon shining over a stone lantern 
sheds her faint light upon bedewed grasses, touched with silver and 
gold, and bending close to the uneven ground. A skull with the teeth in 

1 Kato Naoshi, Eastern Ideas and the Japanese Spirit (Transactions Japan 
Soc, Vol. XIII, p. 121). 

Kaneiye 49 

relief of silver lies exposed to the elements and half covered in the 
grasses on the obverse side, where the same uneven surface tends to 
give a note of ruggedness and mystery in the varying shadows. The dark 
brown iron is wax-like and so modelled as to give the appearance of 
pliability. The votive stone lantern, a typical form seen in the ceme- 
teries, has been chiselled out of the iron and filled in with a gray pewter 
covered with punches which tend to produce a stone-like surface. The 
guard is signed Kaneiye Yamashiro Kuni Fushimi ju ("Kaneiye who 
lived in Fushimi in Yamashiro"). It was acquired early in the eighties 
in Japan by Edward Greey, and bears all the marks of being a genuine 
product of the first Kaneiye. 

The two other examples herein illustrated are in the style of 
Kaneiye Nidai, who, we are told by S. Hara and others, came from the 
family Aoki. He also lived in Fushimi in Yamashiro and later moved 
to the province of Higo. Two other names, Jubei and Tetsunin ("Iron 
Man" or "Iron Kernel") were used by him, according to S. Hara and 
the Honcho ko-kon zan ko-fu ryaku. The author of the latter book, 
Kuwa Hara Mago-no-jo, mentions the fact that in Yamashiro there is 
iron very suitable for swords and sword-fittings. 

Fig. 2 in Plate VIII is likewise signed Kaneiye Yamashiro Kuni 
Fushimi ju. With the same simplicity, a similarly large view of nature 
is encompassed within the small field of this almost circular iron guard. 
Above are mountains crowned with rugged trees, which rise as in 
mystery from a misty foreground, all suggestive of the Chinese land- 
scape. On the very edge of the tsuba are two geese with golden bills, 
modelled in low relief, one stretching its long neck, calls to break the 
silence round about; the other, pushing through the low rushes, which 
are bedewed with silver drops, moves toward the water's edge rippled 
by a soft breeze and pictured on the reverse side of the guard. It 
has much of the quality of Kaneiye Nidai, but is more likely the work 
of one of his followers in the late seventeenth century. 

Though unsigned, the third of the tsuba which represent this 
school of workers, was evidently made by an artist thoroughly imbued 
with the same lofty spirit as the Kaneiye themselves, and worked out 
with a feeling and technique worthy of his masters. The form is a 
modified mokko, and the metal is also a soft brown iron. The subject, 
a favorite of the Zen followers, is full of allegorical meaning, remind- 
ing one of the "Song of the Ten Bulls" by Sokko Zenshi of the Sung 
dynasty (963-1279), a series of verses representing the fundamental 

50 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

ideas of the Zen sect. 1 Above, cut in openwork, are clouds, before 
which rise high and bare mountain peaks, telling of a lonely and impres- 
sive mountain pass. Below, crossing a stream, which is merely inti- 
mated, is a lonely traveller. He wears a broad hat, and, seated on the 
back of a bull, holds in one hand a stick or flute, while the other hand 
rests on the back of the beast. The face and tiny hand are in relief 
of silver, the bridle and nose ring of the bull are of gold, as are the flecks 
of foam in the disturbed stream. On the reverse are low rushes near 
water-lines broken by one or two golden drops. The calm and repose 
herein suggested is evident even to a casual observer, and the deeper 
meaning attends those who are familiar with these classic verses of Zen 
teaching, cited above, telling of man's mastery of the animal forces of 
life, as he seeks to find his true self and his consequent harmony with 
the higher forces of nature. 

Probably contemporaneous with Kaneiye was Myochin Nobuiye, 
likewise a great artist. Mention has been made in the foregoing pages 
of the work of the Myochin armorers, and some of the tsuba bearing 
marks characteristic of their workmanship have been described and 
illustrated (Plate VI). The members of this famous family are said 
to have been the court armorers from the twelfth century to the 
eighteenth, Munesuke being credited with the production of the famous 
helmet of Yoshitsune (1159-89), faithfully portrayed in Fig. 1, 
Plate XLVIII, which is now in the monastery on Mount Kuruma, 
and which, on account of its elaborate reliefs of precious metals, is 
doubted by some to be of so early a period. 

The tsuba of the armorers generally are found to be of iron, either 
plain or with sober designs chiselled in negative silhouette. The foldings 
of the layers of iron (mokume ji; literally, "wood grain"), which can 
be distinguished on close examination, add greatly to the beauty of these 
objects and lead us to agree with H. Toly that the Myochin must have 
been taught tsuba-making by the swordsmiths who forged the blades 
from layers of iron of varying hardness. 2 Indeed, many of the Myochin 
are known to have been swordsmiths themselves, several members of 
this family being listed with the pre-eminent Masamune. 

With the advent of Nobuiye, the seventeenth Myochin, the processes 
of the armorer appeared on the sword-guard ; forceful designs, primarily 
of dragons executed in repousse, suggest some of the motives which 

1 Cf. Kato Naoshi (Eastern Ideas and the Japanese Spirit, Transactions 
Japan Soc, Vol. XIII, p. 116) for a full reading of the verses. 

" For detailed account of the process of producing mokume ji, cf. Brinkley, 
Japan and China, Vol. VII, pp. 245-247. 

The Myochin Family 51 

decorate the breast-plates and helmets made by these famous craftsmen. 
Nobuiye I, who has an outstanding place both as an armorer and a tsuba 
maker, was the son of Yoshiyasu, and lived at Shirai in Kozuke in the 
first half of the sixteenth century. The years 1554 or 1564 have been 
given as the date of his death, which occurred in the seventy-ninth year 
of his age. Imitations of his work and forgeries of his name are 
almost as common as those of the Kaneiye. According to H. Joly/ 
there are several artists of the name of Nobuiye, who resided in other 
provinces than Koshii, and who must not be confused with Myochin 
Nobuiye. He used many names, the tradition being that he called him- 
self Yasuiye (not to be confused with the Yasuiye of the nineteenth 
century), until Takeda Harunobu rewarded him with the last character 
of his name "Nobu" in recognition of his talent. Other signatures used 
by him are here taken from S. Hara 2 and de Tressan : 3 Sakon no 
Shokan, Osumi no kami, Iyeyasu, Rakui, Koshii Myochin, Ujiiye and 

The second Nobuiye, son of Nobuiye I, was named Ujiiye, taking 
the name of Nobuiye II in 1550, and also signing his work Shichirodayu 
and Iyeyoshi. Sadaiye (1513-74), likewise a son of Nobuiye I, was the 
eighteenth Myochin, and lived at Odawara and later in the province of 
Iga. He was also called Matahachiro and Heiroku. 

Working from the information given in the Soken Kisho (1781), M. 
de Tressan classifies the tsuba of Nobuiye in the three following catego- 
ries, — (1) those decorated in karakusa ("floral scrolls"), characters of 
writing, and the tortoise-back design; (2) those in openwork and 
positive silhouette; (3) those in repousse, hammered and chiselled in 
a remarkable style, imitating shells. The centipede seems also to have 
been a favorite motive with Nobuiye, and appears chased in low relief 
on an excellent specimen in the Naunton collection. This design may 
have been a favorite of Takeda Harunobu, who is said to have recog- 
nized the art of Nobuiye ; for it will be remembered that he favored the 
Shingen tsuba which often were decorated with the centipede. Since the 
centipede is associated with Bishamon, the god of riches, whose aid is 
sought by warriors, this motive naturally would have its appeal as a 
decoration for the sword. 

Many of the followers of Nobuiye adopted the tortoise-shell design 
for the ground pattern on their tsuba as well as the mokume ji, both of 

1 Japanese Sword Fittings in the Naunton Collection, p. 3. 
'Die Meister der japanischen Schwertzierathen, p. 129. 
* Involution de la garde du sabre japonaise. Bull, de la Soc. Fronco- 
Japonaise, Vol XX, p. 10. 

52 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

which he used effectively. E. Gilbertson 1 has traced the genealogy 
of this famous family and characterized the products of the leading 
members. Many of the followers of Nobuiye are listed in this article. 
Those who are represented by specimens in Field Museum of Natural 
History are the following: — 

Munekuni, an artist not listed by S. Hara, but one who is probably 
identical with the Munekuni referred to by E. Gilbertson, who was 
called Iwami, and who lived at Aizu in the province of Mutsu about 


Munenori, family name Myochin, who worked in Tsuchiura in the 
province of Hitachi. He also used the name Yukiye. 

Yoshihisa, family name Myochin, worked in Echizen in the first 
half of the nineteenth century. 

The tsuba on Plate IX, Fig. 1 is signed "Myochin Munekuni." It is 
circular and of dark brown iron, chiselled to represent the bark of an 
old tree. This treatment is undoubtedly a development of the true 
mokume ji of the earlier Myochin workers. At the top of the guard, 
on both the obverse and reverse sides, there is a branch of pine in relief, 
with needles inlaid in gold. Below at the right on the obverse, in high 
relief of copper, is the cast-off shell of a cicada (semi). This insect is 
the symbol of resurrection in China. 2 

The other specimen illustrated is of later date and also of interesting 
workmanship. It is signed on the obverse Myochin ki Munenori 
nukinde tansei kore wo tsukuru ("Myochin Munenori distinguished for 
great diligence made this"). On the reverse, the inscription reads, 
Bunkyu gan nen shu getsu jo ran ("In the early part of an autumn day 
in the first year of Bunkyu"; that is, 1861). The tsuba is of mokko 
form, and is made of brown iron, chiselled to represent a helmet with 
small laminae. Both sides are identical, and the whole is very light on 
account of the fact that the "laminae" are rounded and hollow. Alto- 
gether it is a remarkable piece of chiselling. The seppa dai are separate 
plates affixed to either side, and each is unevenly notched on the edge. 
It is interesting to see the traditions of the early Myochin armorers 
reflected in this helmet-like design of nineteenth-century workmanship. 

1 Genealogy of the Myochin Family (Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. I, 
pp. 111-127). 

2 B. Laufer, Jade, p. 301. Cf. L. Hearn, Shadowings, pp. 71-102. 







It has become customary to class under the heading Fushimi-Yoshird 
all iron guards decorated in flat hirazogan of brass or in high relief of 
brass, which were made in the town of Fushimi in Yamashiro, where in 
1589 Hideyoshi built his castle, and whither artists and artisans flocked 
in great numbers. However, this term includes such different types 
that a narrower classification is more desirable. , 

In the fifteenth century certain guards were made known as Onin 
tsuba, so called from the name of the period Onin (1467-68). The inlay 
is flat, either of copper, brass, or sentoku. These tsuba are usually thin 
in the web bounded by a rounded rim, and decorated with simple motives. 
An example in this collection is inlaid on either side in copper with a 
design of a horse's halter. 

The term Fushimi tsuba generally describes those guards in which 
the designs of flowers, scrolls, cloves, and other decorations are inlaid in 
flat hirazogan of brass, while Yoshiro is applied to those which are in 
higher relief and especially to the tsuba in which crests (mon) in open 
work and inlay form the decoration. Both of these types probably date 
from the sixteenth century. The name Yoshiro is derived from that of 
Koike Yoshiro who also signed his work Naomasa with the title 
Izumi-no-Kami, and who must have originated this style of decoration. 
M. de Tressan cites a tsuba with the signature of Yoshiro and the date 
1533. It is in the collection of M. Jacoby of Berlin. 

An interesting Fushimi tsuba may be studied from the illustration 
(Plate X, Fig. 1). It is of iron and carved in the round so that the solid 
portion forms the mitsu-tomoye , a design whose meaning has been dis- 
cussed at length on p. 43. Each comma-shaped figure is inlaid in brass 
with an arabesque design of vines bearing the leaves and fruit of the 
gourd, a motive known to have been a favorite one of Hideyoshi, the 
general, who was ruling Japan at that time from his palace in Fushimi 
(see note on p. 41). The inlay is flat, and fine lines of surface engrav- 
ing, called kebori, bring out the veins of the leaves. 

Appearing on the same plate (Fig. 2) is another tsuba, also of 
Fushimi style. It is of a size larger than is ordinary, being in form 
square with rounded corners. On both sides, in low relief of brass, 
there are designs of broken folding fans (ogi) the remaining portions of 


54 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

which are decorated with water lines and flecks of foam chiselled in 
kebori. , 

This decoration, the riddled ogi, probably refers to the incident 
which occurred at the battle of Dan-no-ura (see Plate XX, Fig. 2). 
Antoku, the boy emperor, had been given a fan decorated with a red 
sun-disk of the Kami, which the priest of Itsukushima declared would 
divert any arrows and thus protect the Taira boats. Accordingly, at 
the battle, the fan was secured to a bamboo pole and placed in the bow 
of the first ship, as they proceeded against the Minamoto. Some ac- 
counts have it that a beautiful girl stood just below the fan. Nasu-no- 
Yoichi of the Minamoto clan accepted the challenge, and riding into 
the waves, raised his bow and let fly his arrow, shattering the fan to 
pieces. Thus with this foreboding opening began the battle in which 
the power of the Taira family was hopelessly crushed and the might 
of the Minamoto established. 

One of the earliest uses of brass inlay seems to have been of the type 
seen on the third tsuba in this group (Plate X, Fig. 3). Circular in 
form, it is divided into twelve sections, in six of which is hammered a 
crudely formed plum-blossom. The six other divisions are adorned with 
small bosses of brass in low relief, and the fields are outlined, as is the 
entire tsuba, with an uneven line of brass. Two tsuba of similar treat- 
ment are assigned by H. Joly and K. Tomita 1 to the sixteenth century. 

The brass reliefs on Yoshiro guards are generally higher than those 
found on tsuba of the foregoing group. Conventionalized floral designs, 
such as the one in Plate X, Fig. 4, are common decorations. This 
mok ko- formed tsuba recalls the aoi form, perforated as it is with the 
four aoi leaves. The aoi outline is accentuated by a line of brass relief 
carved to represent a rope. The flowers and leaves which appear on 
both sides of the guard are finished with kebori chasing. Many Yoshiro 
tsuba are decorated with plum sprays, ginko leaves, and the blossoms of 
the Chinese bell-flower, kikyo (Platycodon grandiflora), which appear 
on this specimen. 

Examples of so-called Tempo tsuba may properly be listed among the 
early inlays, as the decoration on these particular guards is a peculiar 
type of incrustation of hammered brass. Tempo tsuba likewise were 
produced in the province of Yamashiro, probably at Sanoda, in the 
seventeenth century, although they are said to have originated during 
the second half of the sixteenth century in Nara, where an artist Tembo 

1 Japanese Art and Handicraft, Plate ex, Nos. 127-128. 

OF liUaOIS I UilUitY 


Tempo and Heianjo Tsuba 55 

(Ten ho) worked; he decorated his tsuba with figures stamped with a 
die before the final heating of the steel. The character tern appears most 
frequently upon these guards. This unusual method is employed by 
Hirokuni, an eighteenth-century artist of Sendai, by Mitsuhaya (nine- 
teenth century) of Kyoto, and by Kiami, an eighteenth-century worker 
in Aki. 

The Tempo tsuba (Plate XI, Fig. 1) is of iron with a surface made 
uneven by carving and stamping. Scattered along the edge of the guard 
are patches of brass in forms suggesting clouds which are broken by 
small punch-marks. At least two dies have been applied in stamping the 
iron, but the impressions of the characters are too incomplete for de- 

In the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, several Fushimi 
artists and artisans moved to the capital Kyoto, whose classic appellation 
is Heianjo. This name appears before the signatures of certain makers 
of iron tsuba, decorated, for the most part, with flat inlays of brass 
depicting animals and birds, sometimes treated in a grotesque manner. 1 
The design of a spirited pony running through grasses has been chosen 
for the decoration of the obverse side of a typical, unsigned Heianjo 
tsuba in Plate XI, Fig. 2. At either side of the animal there is an 
hexagonal design, probably a crude form of crest, in the centre of 
which a single cross is inlaid. On the reverse side, also inlaid in brass, 
are horse trappings, such as a bridle, saddle, and stirrups. 

Similar subjects were executed by later Heianjo artists in chasing in 
the round (ntarubori). Occasionally touches of gold (nunome-zogan) 
were applied to portions of these sculptured pieces, as is the case in an 
iron tsuba in this collection: here three galloping ponies are carved in 
the round and spotted with gold inlay. 

Though the early Kaga artists are said to have originally migrated 
from Fushimi and settled in Kanazawa in the early seventeenth century, 
there is little in the typical work of this school to suggest the rather 
crude inlays which have been described above. Kaga artists are gen- 
erally famed for the accuracy of their excellent hirazogan. Undoubtedly 
they owe much of their refinement in color, design, and workmanship to 
the influence of Goto artists, who were at that time creating their famous 
reliefs in the precious metals, and some of whom were also working in 
the province of Kaga. 2 The earliest Kaga work is generally accom- 
plished in iron with inlays of sentoku or silver, which produce a beautiful 

1 Okabe Kakuya, Japanese Sword Guards, p. 37. 

1 H. Joly, Japanese Sword Fittings in the Naunton Collection, p. 51. 

56 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

and brilliant effect. As the influence of the Goto artists increased, 
shakudo, shibuichi, and copper were preferred for the ground of the 
tsuba, in which metals of varying shades were inlaid in a variety of 
design. A charming characteristic of this work is the combination of 
inlay and kebori. It is quite common to find, especially on kozuka, a 
design inlaid on the obverse and, on the reverse, a continuation or 
supplementation of the motive executed in the fine hair-line engraving. 
"The schools of Kaga were numerous. Early in the seventeenth century, 
Goto Kenjo's pupil, Ujiye Gondayu founded the Katsuki. Another of 
Kenjo's pupils started the Kuwamura group; a pupil of Takujo initi- 
ated the Kuninaga school; and Yoshihisa, pupil of Yen jo, began the 
Mizuno family in the Genroku period (1668- 1703). Five or six groups 
of less importance might be mentioned, besides a large number of inde- 
pendent workers." 1 Among the earliest masters, Yoshishige, who used 
the name Gorosaku, and Kuninaga, who sometimes signed his work 
Jirosaku, should be pointed out. Both these artists were chisellers and 
inlay-workers for the daimyo of Kaga, and worked in the first half of 
the seventeenth century. 

In the two unsigned examples of Kaga work reproduced in Plate XI, 
Figs. 3-4, the ground metal in each case is copper. The tsuba which 
belongs to the late eighteenth century, is circular with riohitsu plugged 
with shakudo. Inlaid in flat hirazogan with kebori are silver peonies 
with leaves of shakudS veined in fine lines of gold. At the right on the 
obverse side is a split bamboo curtain (sudare) inlaid in dark silver 
with bindings of shakudo in which fine thread-like designs are inlaid 
with gold. Above hangs the tying cord with tassels in silver zogan with 
kebori. On the reverse side of the tsuba the peony motive is con- 
tinued, with the addition of three flying butterflies in gold and silver. 

The kozuka, also of late eighteenth-century workmanship, is a 
happy combination of inlay and chasing. On the obverse in flatly en- 
graved inlay of gold and silver are a butterfly, dragonfly, grasshopper, 
and two roaches, while on the reverse side branches of a species of 
valerian (ominameshi) and grasses are engraved in kebori. 

A peculiar form of incrustation appears in early Kaga work com- 
bined with crests. It is called gomoku-zogan (literally, "dirt inlay"). 
It has been described as representing broken pine-needles or frost-work 
(shimofuri), and consists of scraps of brass wire and filings scattered 
over the iron field. On the examples belonging to this collection it forms 
the sole decoration, appearing without the Kaga crests. The futatsu 

1 H. Joly, Japanese Sword Fittings in the Naunton Collection, p. 52. 

flH Bnv*uw>u3Mtt 

Shoami School 57 

tomoye is again the motive chiselled in openwork in the thin iron guard 
in Plate XII, Fig. 1. Scraps and bits of brass wire are scattered on the 
edge and a portion of the centre of this tsuba, which is rather an unusual 
form to be decorated with gomoku-sogan. It was most likely made in 
the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, long before the Kaga 
artists had developed their skill in hirasogan of precious metals. 

Though the Shoami school was organized in Kyoto in the seventeenth 
century, work typical of this group of artisans seems to have been done 
in many different parts of Japan, where later followers set up their own 
ateliers in their native provinces. The school was founded by Masanori, 
who produced tsuba in inlay after the manner of Umetada Myoju 
(p. 68) with whom he is said to have worked. Certain pieces exe- 
cuted in low relief with inlays also bear his name. By many critics 
Shoami tsuba are considered as inferior to the products of most of the 
other schools ; nevertheless they have made their appeal to many, as may 
be seen in studying the average collections of sword-fittings. 

The designs seem to be the common ones used on tsuba, an in- 
dividual characteristic, however, being the cloud-like designs usually 
cut out in these guards. Much of the work resembles that of Fushimi 
or Yoshiro tsuba, though the designs are more freely drawn and 
of a wider range. Reliefs sculptured from the iron itself are also 
frequent. The list of Shoami workers is long; among the outstanding 
figures are Morikuni, Moritomi, Shigesada, and Dennai. Shoami Aizu 
no ju, "Shoami living in Aizu" (a district of the province of Iwashiro) is 
the signature incised on a circular iron guard, with three cloud forms 
chiselled in openwork and decorated with various shells in relief of 
shakudo and copper (Plate XII, Fig. 2). Water lines are suggested by 
delicate gold nunome, — a process which was used with extreme skill by 
the following group of artists. There is in this collection an iron tsuba 
on whose entire surface tendrils and blossoms of the kiri (Paulownia 
imperalis) are carved. It is signed "Shoami Kanenori," an artist 
hitherto unlisted in the records. The kiri design very often appears on 
Shoami tsuba. 

Most of the inlay work designated Awa is done in nunome on iron 
in contrast to the true hirazdgan of the Kaga craftsmen. This school is 
a branch of the Shoami, having been founded by Tansai, in the late 
seventeenth or early eighteenth century. Much of the product of this 
school is in inlay on openwork designs of trees and boats, two popular 
and attractive types also consisting of screens or fan forms carved in 
iron and inlaid with all-over patterns in different shades of gold. Many 

58 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

Awa tsuba are said to have been made for presentation purposes, in 
which case they were lavishly decorated, being called "Kenjo" tsuba, a 
name applied to those made for presentation to the shogun (see also 
Kinai School, p. 83). The designs chosen are very often of extreme 
delicacy ; and the accomplishment of the artist, working with iron as a 
foundation, calls forth real admiration. 

The sword-guard and kozuka in Plate XII, Figs. 3-4, are good 
examples of Awa inlay of eighteenth-century workmanship. An un- 
usual form, the military fan (gutnbai), has been utilized for this tsuba 
for a small sword. The edge is rounded ; the lower portion presents the 
short handle, made into the appearance of bamboo, and the upper por- 
tion is topped with a tassel skillfully chiselled. The obverse is covered 
over by clouds inlaid in gold nunome. On the right-hand side is a 
golden sun, while in the left half the crescent moon is inlaid in silver. 

Of the many uses of fans in Japan, that of the gumbai is among 
the most important. These war fans were made either of leather bound 
by an iron rim and affixed by an iron stick running through the centre, 
or were entirely of iron. They were used by military commanders for 
the signalling of commands and the enforcing of orders. Among the 
decorations, the most common one is that of a red sun on a gold ground, 
combined with a silver moon among clouds of dark blue or black. 1 

The iron kozuka is divided into six panels, three of which are incised 
with lines bearing traces of silver inlay. The other three are inlaid in 
delicate gold and silver nunome with designs adapted from the Genji 
Monogatari. 2 

They represent, right to left, the chapters entitled Kiri tsubo ("the 
chamber of Kiri"), Momiji-ga ("maple fete") and Ukifune ("the float- 
ing boat"). Accompanying the two last-mentioned are the signs for the 
chapter headings, — motives which have been used for many decorations, 
being a combination of a numerical sign and a design relating to the 
subject matter of the chapter. The Genji symbols appear as crests on 
the banners of the Minamoto (Genji) family, one of the most powerful 

*For further details cf. C. Salwey, Japanese Fans (Transactions Japan 
Soc, Vol. II, p. 30). 

'The Genji Monogatari, one of the greatest literary productions of Japan, 
was written about 1004 by Murasaki Shikibu (Plate LIV, Fig. 1). It is a novel 
consisting of fifty-four chapters, forty-one of which relate the adventures of 
Prince Genji in a detailed and most interesting manner. The later chapters, 
which are said to have been added by the daughter of the authoress, chiefly 
concern a son of Prince Genji's. According to Aston (Japanese Literature, 
p. 94), the Genji Monogatari is more than a successful novel, it is a prose epic 
of real life and realistic in the best sense of the word. Seventeen chapters were 
translated by Suyematsu Kenchio and published in book form (Tokyo, Maruya, 

Awa Inlay 59 

houses of Japan from the tenth century until the thirteenth century, 
Yoshitsune and Yoritomo being its most famous representatives. The 
Genji crest, carried in battle, is white on a blue banner, and is that 
symbol which marks the chapter entitled Hanachiru-sato ("Villa of the 
Falling Flowers"). These signs are also used as numerals in one of the 
kiki-ko ("incense-sniffing games"), of which B. H. Chamberlain 1 
has given an account. 

'Things Japanese, 5th ed., p. 245. 


The two outstanding names among the artists who made sword- 
fittings in the sixteenth century are Kaneiye and Goto Yujo. The latter 
was the founder of a school whose extraordinary work for sixteen gen- 
erations was sought after by many of the leading military men, and 
whose products to-day are considered as valuable property in the hands 
of certain Japanese collectors. 

The genealogy of the Goto Shirobei family has been carefully 
worked out, and the style of the "Sixteen Masters" commented upon in 
detail by A. Mosle. 1 Only a brief outline of the product of this school 
can be given here, and that arranged in reference to the examples in 
this collection. 

For the reason that the early masters of the Goto family worked 
entirely for the daimyo and the shogun, very few mounts of undisputed 
authenticity are to be seen outside Japan, where they have been handed 
down from generation to generation fitted in exquisite boxes, accompa- 
nied by orikami (certificates giving the name of the master, the subject 
of decoration, and the value). The collecting of small fittings of the 
Goto family by the nobility became fashionable in the late seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries, and it was then that certificates identifying 
unsigned Goto pieces came into use. 2 

Goto Yujo (1435 or 1440- 15 12) was the originator of chasing in 
relief as a form of decoration on sword-furniture, which method he 
applied only to the small fittings. The style which he instituted was 
followed with more or less accuracy for sixteen generations by the so- 
called "Sixteen Masters," direct descendants of the main line ; and this 
style was called iyebori ("family chasing"). He was probably the first 
maker of sword-fittings who used the softer metals and alloys. Many of 
the schools devoted to the decoration of the sword were soon affected ; 
the influence of the Goto family may readily be traced in a number of 
groups. , 

The nanako ("fish-roe") ground was brought to perfection by these 
artists, and from this time on was the accepted surface decoration for 

x The Sword Ornaments of the Goto Shirobei Family (Transactions Japan 
Soc, Vol. VIII, pp. 188-208). 

* H. Joly, Japanese Sword Fittings in the Naunton Collection, p. 22. 


The Sixteen Masters of the Goto School 6i 

the fittings of the swords carried by daimyo on ceremonial occasions. 
The early Goto masters had their nanako prepared for them by crafts- 
men who were not as skilled as those of later times. In some cases the 
original work is characterized by overlapping of the punch strokes, and 
again the grains are not completely formed, possibly due to a deflection 
of the cup-shaped tool used to impress the tiny bosses. In later work 
the grains have a sharper, nipple-shaped appearance. "When it is re- 
membered that the punching tool was guided solely by the hand and eye, 
and that three or more blows of the mallet had to be struck for every 
dot, some idea may be formed of the patience and accuracy needed to 
produce these tiny protuberances in perfectly straight lines at exactly 
equal intervals and of absolutely uniform size, so that a magnifying- 
glass can scarcely detect any variation in their order and size. Nanako 
disposed in straight parallel lines has always ranked at the head of this 
kind of work, but a new style was introduced in 1560 by Matabei, the 
second representative of the Muneta family. It was obtained by punch- 
ing the dots in intersecting lines so arranged that the dots fell uniformly 
into diamond-shaped groups of five each. This was called go-no-nte 
nanako because of its resemblance to the disposition of checkers in the 
Japanese game go. A century later (1640) another representative of 
the Muneta family — Norinao, known in the art world as Doki — invented 
a new style of nanako to which the name daimyo nanako was given, 
doubtless because its special excellence seemed to reserve it for the use 
of the daimyo only. In this variety the lines of dots alternated with 
lines of polished ground." 1 

Straight parallel lines and concentric lines of nanako appear most 
frequently as the ground decoration on the fittings made by the early 
Goto masters who at first made only mitokoromono ("objects of three 
places") : kogai, kozuka, and menuki. The kozuka which are attributed 
to Yujo are found to be, in many cases, reconstructions probably made 
from ornaments cut from kogai and affixed to a new field. He is not 
known to have made any fittings save menuki and kogai. 

The subjects delineated on these early products are mainly symboli- 
cal of strength, for the sword was still a weapon primarily devoted to 
fighting ; it had not yet become the ornament worn to complete the rich 
costume of later days. The mythical lion, the dragon, the centipede, and 
familiar historical figures appear on these small fittings. The figures, 
which are rather heavy in outline, are in many cases of pure gold. The 
work in gold incrustation of the first four masters was not successful, 

*F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 239. 

62 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

for they had not yet perfected the heating and chemical processes used 
in producing plating. 1 

Flowers and crests wrought in beautiful detail soon appeared on 
the fittings which from the time of Tokujo, the fifth master, were made 
primarily for a smaller sword carried by the daimyo to court functions 
at Yedo. This weapon (a short wakizashi) is called the kamishimo- 
cashi, because it was worn with the court dress (kamishimo). The 
scabbard was of black lacquer, and the fittings were of shakudo-nanako 
adorned with the formal designs above mentioned. For several genera- 
tions the tsuba on the kamishimo zashi was either plain nanako adorned 
with the kiri crest, or the crest of an individual daimyo, or was orna- 
mented along the edge with a dragon and cloud design (Plate XIV, 
Fig. i). These last were generally made by nanako artists, and are 
rarely signed, as Mosle tells us. 2 

The first four Goto masters, Yujo, Sojo, Joshin, and Kojo, are re- 
nowned for their menuki and kogai. The fifth master Tokujo was the 
first Goto to make fuchikashira, kozuka, and tsuba; and was also the 
first member of the family to use gold plating with success. He is said 
to have been court metal-worker for Hideyoshi and living in Kyoto, 
also executed orders for the imperial court and for the court of the 
shogun at Yedo. 3 Yeijo, the sixth master, is said to be the weakest 
among these early artists. He was succeeded by Ken jo and Sokujo. 

The names of the remaining eight masters are as follows : — 

Teijo 1 603- 1 673 Yen jo 1720- 1784 

Ren jo 1 627- 1 709 Keijo 1739- 1804 

Tsiijd 1669-1722 Shinjo died in 1830 or 1834. 

Jujo 1 694- 1 742 Hojo died in 1856, leaving 

no descendant. 4 

In addition to the Sixteen Masters there are innumerable Goto 
workers of subsidiary families, some of whom will be mentioned in this 
chapter, and others who will be commented upon under the respective 
schools of which they were the founders or members, such as Nagatsune 
of the Ichinomiya school. 

1 For methods of purifying and coloring gold used by the Goto, cf. A. 
Mosle, Sword Ornaments of the Goto Shirobei Family (Transactions of Japan 
Soc, Vol. VIII, pp. 188-208). 

'Op. cit., p. 195. 

'Certain authenticated specimens of the first six masters are described by 
Brinkley (Japan and China, Vol. VII, pp. 256-258). 

*A11 of the sixteen masters used other names, which may be found in 
S. Hara (Die Meister der japanischen Schwertzierathen) . 



- " 

The Followers of the Sixteen Masters 63 

Goto Denjo, though not among the Sixteen Masters, was an artist of 
prominence, and died in 1712. His signature appears on an interesting 
tsuba of shakudo which is bounded by a gold rim (Plate XIII, Fig. 1). 
Following the signature is his kakihan, a parafe or written seal used by 
some artists as the sole signature, but more often employed as here in 
conjunction with the name (see Plate LXI). The design on the 
tsuba is brought out in high relief of gold, silver, copper, and shakudo 
set upon a ground of nanako. Beneath an old pine-tree with golden 
needles stands the Chinese sage, Fung Kan, known in Japan as Bukan 
Zenji. He is one of the rishi or sennin (sien nung), beings endowed 
with supernatural powers who enjoy rest for a period after death, being 
for a time exempt from transmigration. "They are nearly all Taoist or 
Tao-Buddhistic myths of Chinese invention, but some may be traced to 
Indian sources, and a few are of native origin." 1 Those most often 
met with in Japanese art are the human rishi who, in order to obtain 
immortality retire into mountains, where they practice magic powers, 
and living in the simple garb of the Chinese sage, have time for contem- 
plation. Bukan Zenji is always accompanied by a tiger, here sculptured 
from the shakudo with stripes of gold hirazogan. 2 Silver has been 
effectively inlaid to represent a waterfall toward which Bukan Zenji is 
turning, and which breaks in curling waves of silver at his feet. The 
figure with robes of shakudo and gold, and face inlaid in copper, is 
modelled with that stiffness characteristic of many of the early Goto 

In contrast to this rather crude presentation is the more freely 
sculptured figure on the tsuba by Renjo, tenth master of the Goto fam- 
ily, who died in 1709 at the age of eighty-two (Plate XIII, Fig. 2). He 
is said to have been the first master to take up his residence in Yedo, 
where he worked for the shogun, creating new models and imitating a 
more elaborate style. Life at the shogun's court under Tokugawa Iye- 
mitsu (1623-51) and his immediate successors was very luxurious. 
Pure gold was used profusely on sword-fittings, and tsuba for the 
daisho were decorated with all sorts of motives. The subject chosen 
by Renjo is Nakasaina Sonja (Sanskrit: Nagasena), one of the Sixteen 
Rakan (Sanskrit: Arhat), a group of disciples of Qakyamuni Buddha. 
Wearing the Buddhist cloak attached at one shoulder, leaving one arm 
bare, Nagasena holds aloft his bowl from which he has power to draw 

1 W. Anderson, Cat. of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in British Museum, 
P- 54- 

*A common subject is the Four Sleepers: Bukan Zenji and the tiger with 
Kanzan and Jittoku, two younger rishi, who are represented on Plate xxix, Fig. 1. 

64 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

forth water. Delightedly he looks up toward the rising silver stream, 
while overhead a gnarled pine-tree with tiny cones of copper bends down 
toward the mountain torrent by which he rests. The tsuba is of kara- 
kane with a surface decoration imitating stone and known as ishime. 

Though nanako continued to be the ground preferred by the Goto, 
ishime was also produced by them, and from this time on is utilized by 
all the metal-workers. The term ishime has come to include not only 
surfaces reproducing stone, but such treatment as kashiji ("pear 
ground") ishime, which gives a surface suggesting pear rind; hari 
("needle") ishime, a surface pricked with a very fine needle-like point; 
gama ("toad") ishime, intended to represent the skin of a toad; tsuya 
("lustrous") ishime, produced with a chisel sharpened so that its traces 
leave a brilliant appearance; orikuchi ("broken-tool") ishime, a rough 
surface produced with a jagged tool, and gosame ishime, which resembles 
the plaited surface of a straw mat. 1 

The kozuka reproduced on the plate with the foregoing tsuba 
(Plate XIII, Fig. 3) is a product of Goto Mitsuyoshi, also known as 
Shinjo, the fifteenth master of the Goto family, who worked in Yedo in 
the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. As is often true of 
both kozuka and kogai, the decorated plate is separate piece, in this case 
set into a bronze handle, gilded. The plate is of shakudo, with a ground 
of fine nanako in straight lines. In high relief of shakudo the artist 
has modelled a tobacco-pipe, with tip and bowl of silver. Around the 
centre of the stem is wound a rope taper in relief of gold, and nearby 
are several silver petals of the cherry blossom. 

Another kozuka (Fig. 4), also with shakudo-nanako ground, has 
a masterful little piece of sculpture on the lower part of the narrow 
field. It was made by Hisakiyo, a member of the Goto family, who 
worked in Kanagawa in the province of Kaga in the middle of the 
eighteenth century. The artist has reproduced one of the Rikishi or 
Ni-6 ("Two Deva Kings") or temple guardians, seen before the outer 
gates of Buddhist temples. They are usually colossal and hideous images 
with ferocious faces and hands outstretched or grasping a mace or tokko 
(vajra, "thunderbolt"). They are nude to the waist, save for a thin 
strip of drapery which passes over the shoulder. The lower portion of 
the body is partially draped. One of the pair is represented with tightly 
compressed lips, and is often painted green ; the other with open mouth 
is usually red in color. They are popularly identified as Narayana and 
Vajrapani. Narayana, otherwise known as Puruha, is an Indian god, 

*F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VII, pp. 240-241. 

The Followers of the Sixteen Masters 65 

who represents a variation of Brahma, the supreme deity as creator 
of the world. Vajrapani is an incarnation of Qakra Indra, as chief of 
the Yakshas, who vowed to protect the teaching of Buddha. The thun- 
der bolt (vajra-kila) which he holds is said to represent his intention 
of destroying any one hostile to Buddhism. One may compare the 
descriptions of the two famous statues of the Ni-6 at the temple of 
Todaiji. 1 The Ni-6 are not to be confused with the Shi Tenno, "Four 
Kings of Heaven," who guard the four cardinal points of the world of 
Mount Sumeru in Indian mythology. They are known in Japan as 
Bishamonten (Vaiqravana), Jikokuten (Dhritarashtra), Zochoten 
(Viriidhaka) and Komokuten (Virupaksha), and are generally repre- 
sented as armored knights. 2 

The muscular body of the Ni-6 on this kozuka (Plate XIII, Fig. 4) 
is in high relief of copper, the flashing eye is inlaid in gold and shakudo. 
The lower garment, which has cloud designs incised in kebori, is of 
gold, as are the long streamers which float upward from the shoulders. 
The hands are cleverly modelled and, though appearing cramped, due to 
the limitation of the field, express in their position the attitude of 

A typical Goto figure is that to be seen on the unsigned tsuba 
(Plate XIV, Fig. 2), which is of shakudo and of late eighteenth-century 
workmanship. The field is interestingly broken into patches of nanako, 
which suggest clouds and a river bank, and the centre portion is sculp- 
tured in a formal presentation of waves with breaking crests in relief of 
silver. The subject, which is one of the most popular motives in Japanese 
art, is also the theme of the noted No drama, "the Battle of Gojo 
Bridge." The participants in this combat were Benkei, a boisterous priest, 
and Yoshitsune (1159-89), the most deeply beloved member of the 
famous Minamoto family and a brother to Yoritomo, the founder of the 
shogunate. This incident occurred when Yoshitsune was but a youth and 
known by the name Ushiwaka ("Young Ox). Coming to Gojo bridge 
one night, he was challenged by one, Benkei, a strong daredevil who, 
though a wandering priest, had fought with all the passers-by and 
captured through his skill and strength nine hundred and ninety-nine 
choice swords. Ushiwaka, it is said, had been trained in fencing by 
the Tengu, a bird-like spirit, and in his agile movements, leaping 
from post to rail, he kept the cumbersome Benkei at arms length 
until he defeated him. Benkei threw down his eight weapons and won 

*S. Tajima, Selected Relics of Japanese Art, Vol. II, Plate xvni. 
'Op. cit., Vol. I, Plates n-rv. 

66 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

over by admiration, became the faithful retainer of Yoshitsune follow- 
ing him in all of his exploits and battles. 

The youthful figure of Yoshitsune, armed with his sword, is here to 
be seen poised for a moment on the rail of Gojo bridge, which the artist 
has made in relief of gold. Yoshitsune's garments are of shakudo and 
gold worked out in great detail, even to the high, black-lacquered clogs 
(geta) which are realistically sculptured in shakudo. Four of Benkei's 
weapons, an axe, a hammer, a pitchfork, and a long-handled saw, lie 
upon the ground. On the reverse there is a pine-tree in relief of 
shakudo with golden needles. 

Among the many groups which are offsprings of the Goto school is 
that of Nomura, which was founded by Masatoki, a pupil of Tokujo. 
He lived in the seventeenth century and worked either in Awa or Yedo. 
One of the outstanding artists of the Nomura family is Tsu Jimpo 
(1720-62), a son of Tsujo, the eleventh of the so-called Sixteen Masters. 
He was a clever craftsman whose work was much imitated during his 
lifetime and an example of which is among the specimens in this col- 
lection. It is a fuchikashira of shakudo with nanako ground, depicting 
a lioness and four cubs crouching in a cave beneath an old pine-tree. 
Sculptured entirely in the dark alloy, it is difficult to reproduce by 

Toward the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century, a group of masters of the Nomura family concentrated 
upon the production of menuki, kogai, kozuka, and fuchikashira, no 
tsuba by them being found. The motives for decoration were mainly 
plants and flowers, sometimes animals, but never human figures. 1 To 
this group belonged Nomura Masayoshi, who also used the names 
Ichiunsai and Kotoji. He was the son of Masahide and lived during the 
first half of the nineteenth century. He has left many beautiful bits of 
sculpture, such as the characteristic kozuka of shibuichi (Plate XIV, 
Fig. 3), whereon are pictured in beautiful detail a thicket of spring 
flowers : fukujuso (Adonis sibirica), omodaka (Alisima plantago), botan 
(Paeonia moutan), hagi (Lespedeza) , kikyo (Platycodon grandi flora), 
and suisen (Narcissus tazetta). 

The Goto artists held a very high place in this field of art until 
swords ceased to be worn. The nineteenth-century master Ichijo and 
his followers will be dealt with in a subsequent chapter, for the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries still hold many other schools whose work 
must be outlined in detail. 

*G. Jacoby, Japanische Schwertzierathen, p. 104. 







In the record Kinko Tanki, 1 Umetada Shichizaemon Munetoki in 
1827 stated that the Umetada family originated at a remote period, cer- 
tain members being famous swordsmiths in the tenth century. The 
first artist to make sword-fittings is said to have been Shigeyoshi Hiko- 
jiro, eighteenth member of the family which was then known as Tachi- 
bana. He lived in the fourteenth century, and is reported to have worked 
for the Ashikaga shogun, Yoshimasa. An interesting story is told 
about his successor, Shigemune, who wrote the name Umetada ("many 
plum-trees field"). It is said that there was a pond on his estate which 
he wished to fill up ; so he conceived the idea of putting an image in the 
centre, thus giving passers-by a target at which to throw stones. The 
hole was soon filled, and Shigemune's clever scheme became known to 
the emperor, who summoned him and ordered him to alter his name to 
another writing of Umetada ("loyally filled up"). In later years, the 
writing of the name was again changed, when it was pointed out that 
this combination of characters could be construed as meaning "bury 
loyalty" or "loyally buried." The final writing is Umetada which, trans- 
lated, reads "loyal plum tree." 2 

These three combinations of characters appear on sword-fittings 
made by the Umetada, and, as though these were not enough, an 
eighteenth-century artist ingeniously substituted a plum-blossom (ume) 
incised or inlaid before the character tada. 

Umetada tsuba stand as highly in the eyes of the Japanese as the 
products of Kaneiye and Nobuiye. Especially is this true of those made 
by the master craftsman Shigeyoshi II, Myoju, sometimes called Hiko- 
jiro. He was the son of Shigetaka and lived from 1558 to 163 1 in 
Kyoto. He originated a method of flat inlay of shakudo on fields of 
copper and brass. He served under Hideyoshi and Hidetsugu, and 
was succeeded by his adopted son, Shigeyoshi II, who wrote the name 
with different characters (see Index) and who, on account of the excel- 
lence of his work, received the title Hokyo, an honorary appellation 
meaning "Bridge of the Law," of Buddhistic origin. A younger 
brother, Iyetaka, succeeded Shigeyoshi II (known as Myoju) and set 
up a studio in Yedo, where for several generations this family worked. 

'A condensed version is given by H. Joly (Japanese Sword Mounts in the 
Hawkshaw Collection, pp. 16-18). 

' Op. cti., p. 17. See Index of Signatures for the various characters. 


68 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

Naritsugu, an eighteenth-century artist, and Ichio of the nineteenth 
century, are among the more recent well-known artists of this group. 

Many of the Umetada tsuba are of iron inlaid in gold, silver, or 
copper, with extraordinarily beautiful effects. Some are chiselled in 
openwork, others are solid with designs rendered in low relief or in 
intaglio. The latter method was masterfully practised by Ichio. 

On Plate XV is reproduced a tsuba which, though unsigned, re- 
sembles the work of Myoju or one of his close followers. When 
acquired in Japan, it was accompanied by a series of certificates, ori- 
kami, one of which, of scroll form, details a most interesting story of its 
history. Owing to the intrinsic value of this tsuba, technical and 
artistic, this document might be given serious credence. A condensed 
account made from a translation of the scroll is here inserted. 

"This copper inlaid tsuba was made by a tsuba maker at Daisen in 
the province of Hoki. 1 In his great enthusiasm for the perfection of 
his art, the maker took a vow neither to eat or sleep for a hundred days 
while he worked. He died before the vow was fulfilled. His wife in 
great sorrow determined to finish the tsuba, and, praying at the shrine, 
had a vision of the god. She finished the tsuba, which is the only one 
she ever made. The sickles and flute inlaid represent the treasures of 
the shrine. The birds are messengers of the god, and the hollow repre- 
sents the pond near the shrine. The tsuba was the valued possession of 
Tokugawa Iyeyasu, and was given by him to one of his faithful samurai, 
Nakamura Shirozaemon. It was handed down to a grandson of Shiro- 
zaemon's, who, when imprisoned, gave it away." 

The description on the scroll accords well with the decoration on the 
tsuba. On the obverse side flatly inlaid in the copper which has been 
skillfully molded so as to give the wax-like appearance characteristic of 
Myoju's work, are two weapons of sickle-shape known as kusari 
("chain") kama ("hoe"). The upper one, with chain missing, is of 
shakudo with an edge of silver; the lower one is of shakudo with a 
blade of gold, and is attached by a golden chain to a small rectangular 
piece. This type of weapon is said to have been used by women in 
defensive warfare, being flung at the enemy and pulled back by means 
of the chain which the owner held. Laufer 2 has given a full description 
and drawing of a Chinese weapon called the fie lien kia pang, which 

^he lofty mountain Daisen or Oyama is believed to be the dwelling place of 
the Shinto god Onamuji-no-Mikoto. In the fourteenth century there were two 
hundred and fifty shrines on the mountain. It is not known whether Myoju ever 
worked in this retreat, which was some distance from Kyoto where he lived. 

'Chinese Clay Figures, pp. 249, 251. 








I ♦ 

\ki A 


The Umetada Family 69 

closely resembles the object delineated on this Japanese tsuba, although 
the striking part on the Chinese weapon resembles a sharpened cudgel or 
flail rather than a scythe. He relates that such a weapon is at present 
used in Peking in fencing bouts, and that it is there known by the name 
"threshing flail." A Chinese work is referred to wherein it is said that 
such weapons were manipulated by women on the walls to resist in- 
vaders. The fact that threshing was to a great extent done by the women 
in China and Japan may be an explanation for the adoption of the flail 
and sickle as a weapon. In a surimono (card of greeting) in this 
Museum, Kunisada has depicted a famous heroine of the twelfth cen- 
tury, Tomoye Gozen, hurling a kusari katna at her approaching enemy. 

On the reverse of the tsuba under consideration, on the lower edge, 
there is a depression which, as we are told by the orikami, represents a 
pond near the shrine. Two flying birds are inlaid above in gold hira- 
zogan, and at the right is a shakudo flute with golden stops. This tsuba 
must have seen service, for it is carefully repaired in two places on the 
reverse side with plugs of pewter. 

The greater number of the Umetada artists worked in iron, leaving 
the copper grounds with alloyed inlays to Myoju and his immediate fol- 
lowers. The second writing of Umetada "loyally filled up" is the sole 
inscription on a fuchikashira of iron, which is probably a product of 
the late seventeenth century (Plate XVI, Fig. 1). On the head-piece 
two feathered arrows with silver heads are laid crossways and tied to- 
gether by a golden cord. On the clamp two more arrows of the same 
form are held in place side by side in a confining brace, also tied with 
a cord of gold. The heads of the arrows are leaf-shaped, and are 
skillfully chiselled in openwork with one of the many beautiful designs 
to be seen on these artistic weapons. 1 

A kozuka (Plate XVI, Fig. 2), entirely of iron and signed "Umetada 
Narimasa," is covered over with a sculpturing of full blown peonies with 
fine lines of kebori on the leaves. This artist is not listed by S. Hara. 
and it is not known when or where he lived. It will be noted, however, 
that he used the "loyal plum-tree" or third writing of Umetada, and 
therefore is likely to belong to the eighteenth century. 

"Muneyoshi residing at Toto" (Yedo) is the inscription of an eight- 
eenth-century artist, who used the plum-blossom (utne) incised before 
the character tada. He has left an excellent example of his skill in the 
tsuba in Plate XVI, Fig. 3. It is of brown iron, and is of mokko form 
with a raised rim neatly chiselled. On the edge are patches of the swas- 

*Cf. E. Scidmore, The Japanese Yano Ye (Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. VI, 
PP. 356-373). 

70 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

tika and key-pattern in gold hirazogan. On the obverse side at the 
right and partly covering the opening for the kozuka is the seated figure 
of an old, but happy monkey-trainer holding in one hand a wand, in the 
other the cord which guides his pet. His face (in relief of shibuichi), 
is an interesting and lifelike portrait ; his cap is gold. His robe of shaku- 
do, adorned with crests inlaid in silver, copper, and gold, is surmounted 
by the kamishimo, which, during the Tokugawa period, was worn on 
certain public occasions, not necessarily allied with the court. The 
monkey, modelled in high relief of shibuichi, wears a golden coat and 
plays upon a little drum on which the mitsu-tomoye is inlaid in silver. 
The back of the man's head and the tip of the monkey's nose may be 
seen through the riohitsu on the reverse side, which is plain, save for a 
stick with a ring handle, which is inlaid in relief of silver and copper. 
The signature Ume (in form a plum-blossom) tada is sharply cut on the 

This same fanciful writing of the family name has been skillfully 
cut on the obverse side of another tsuba of iron (Plate XVI, Fig. 4). 
It is the only signature on the guard which likely is the product of Ichio, 
the nineteenth-century representative of this well-known group of metal 
craftsmen. The ground has been chiselled into a rough appearance sug- 
gesting a patch of soil over which realistically sculptured insects move. 
Two large crickets in high relief of shibuichi, with heads and antennae 
of gold, approach a cluster of golden eggs jealously presided over by 
an ant. On the reverse, five more of these insects are inlaid in relief of 
gold, and several gold and silver eggs are scattered over the ground. The 
holes for the kozuka and udenuki are outlined with gold nunome- 
zdgan ; the edge of the tsuba is decorated with the tortoise-shell pattern. 

A pupil of Umetada Myoju, by name Masatsugu, in 1600, founded a 
school which bore his family name Ito. He inaugurated an intricate 
style of saw-cutting done on iron and shakudo tsuba, a style which is 
known as ltd sukashi ("ornamental openwork") or Odawara (name of 
the village in which he worked) sukashi. He is said to have settled in 
Odawara of Sagami Province, the old capital of the Hojo regents, but 
he is also reported to have been a great wanderer ; and such would seem 
to be the case, since similar tsuba with saw-cutting suggestive of his style 
appeared in many parts of Japan in the eighteenth century. Very often 
Ito or Odawara tsuba are listed under the heading of Bushu, the 
province next to Sagami, where several Ito artists worked in the city of 
Yedo. However, it has been thought well to associate this offshoot of 
the Umetada family with the parent tree, since almost all of schools in 
the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had representatives in the 


The Ito School 71 

shogun's capital, and the work of all might just as logically be desig- 
nated "Bushu" ; that term, however, will be reserved for a limited group 
who did not have a distinct style. 

Masakuni I and II, Masayoshi, and Masatsune, are among the mem- 
bers of the Ito school whose work is much sought after. The last men- 
tioned of these four artists worked for the shogun up until his death in 
[724. Four unsigned pieces have been chosen for reproduction (Plates 
XVII-XVIII). These admirably illustrate the triumph of this school 
of artists who sought to produce tsuba which at one and the same time 
would be guards affording adequate protection, lightness of weight, and 
beauty of design. 

All-over patterns forming a strong network have been utilized for 
the fields chiselled in two iron tsuba (Plate XVII, Figs. 1 and 2), both 
of which may be assigned to the eighteenth century. The shippo tsunagi 
("endless circle of the seven treasures") fills the field of the circular 
guard, while the same motive more severely formalized is also chiselled 
within the narrow rim of the mokko-shaped tsuba. The edge of this latter 
guard is inlaid with the key pattern in delicate gold hirazogan. These 
intricate perforated patterns are marvels of technique, possibly excelled 
solely by such other Ito works wherein stems of plants or similar designs 
oftentimes not exceeding 1/250 of an inch are cut in the solid iron. 
W. Gowland 1 tells us that "these were produced by a very laborious 
method of procedure. A minute hole was first drilled in the iron with a 
fine steel wire moistened with oil and powdered garnets or silicious rock ; 
the hole was then elongated into a slit by means of another fine steel wire 
used as a saw, also moistened with oil and the above powder. These 
cuts were further continued with flat wires and were then reduced to 
the extreme degree of fineness required by hammering both sides of the 
metal until they were sufficiently closed. The sides of the cuts were 
kept parallel by rubbing them from time to time with flat wires of steel 
and grinding powder. Iron guards by the best craftsmen were never 
cast ; they were always of wrought iron." 

The water-plantain (Alisima plantago) or omodaka, a plant utilized 
as the basis for many decorative patterns, has been cut into the iron tsuba 
(Plate XVII, Fig. 3) by means of the process described above. Though 
this specimen ornamented with the slender stems and water lines is of 
admirable execution, when compared with many of the Ito saw-cuts, it 
appears coarse and lacking in grace. 

That most popular motive, the chrysanthemum (kiku), very often 

Petals and Metal Working in Old Japan (Transactions Japan Soc, 
Vol. XIII, p. 51). 

72 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

appears on sword-fittings sometimes inlaid in precious metals, or outlined 
in gold hirazogan, or again chiselled in openwork, as is the case on the 
tsuba of iron (Plate XVIII, Fig. i), where a blossom of sixty-two petals 
forms the light guard. The imperial kiku crest (mon) is of three forms : 
a single flower of sixteen petals, a double flower with the rounded tips 
of sixteen under petals appearing between those of the principal series, 
and a flower of thirty-two petals, an adaptation from the double form. 
Some experts have interpreted this mon as a sun with divergent rays, an 
evolution from the hi no maru ("circle of the red sun") to be seen on 
the national flag. As the descendant of the Sun Goddess, this would be 
the logical insignia for the emperor to adopt; however, such forms as 
this flower of sixty-two petals are undoubtedly representations of the 
chrysanthemum which is the basis of several crests other than the 
imperial one. 




In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century certain sword- 
fittings began to appear which registered strong traces of foreign in- 
fluence, both Chinese and European. Two great events in that period, 
the arrival of the Portuguese in 1542 and the conquest of Korea by 
Hideyoshi in 1592, brought with them into Japan innovations which 
rapidly had strong effects on many of the arts and crafts. European 
characters, in monograms or inscriptions, figures of foreigners, and 
coats of arms were soon woven into purely Japanese designs in the most 
itigenious manner ; even the Umetada artists combined European letters 
in some of the decorations on their sword-guards. Grounds simulating 
leather became very popular both in metal work and lacquer, presumably 
under Portuguese influence; and, as has already been remarked, inlay in 
iron noticeably increased with the introduction of European fire-arms. 

Two types of sword-fittings grouped under the names Hirado and 
Namban reflect to a marked degree these foreign currents. In the 
town of Hirado in Hizen worked a coterie of craftsmen who specialized 
in brass and iron sword-fittings chased with designs of dragons, waves, 
and flowers almost always combined with European letters. Those 
which are signed usually have upon them the names of Kunishige, an 
artist, who must have been the leading spirit of the group. In the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Hirado like Nagasaki, became 
the market-place for many "ready made articles" (shiiremono) , intended 
for the swords of the merchants and lower samurai, and also to satisfy 
the demands of the foreigners who might carry them home. 

The type of tsuba known as Namban was likewise made by the 
hundreds and imported to some extent. The word Namban meaning 
"southern barbarians" was first used by the Chinese to describe all 
aboriginal tribes inhabiting the southern part of their country. 1 In 
Japan from the sixteenth century on it designated all foreigners, Portu- 
guese, Hollanders, as well as other Europeans. The word has also been 
applied to a peculiar kind of hard iron, harder than ordinary iron, but 

1 Cf. Chinese Pottery in the Philippines, pp. 30-32 (Field Museum Publica- 
tion, Anthr. Series, Vol. XII, No. 1). 


74 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

not as brittle as steel. It may have been imported from the Malay 
Islands, Java, or India. 1 At any rate, it was utilized effectively for the 
production of the early so-called Namban tsuba, the date of which has 
been fixed by most writers as late sixteenth century. While some of 
the designs on these guards plainly show European influence, such as 
figures, Dutch boats, and birds, for the most part Namban tsuba are 
thoroughly Chinese in impression, and are combinations of intricately 
chiselled designs of dragons and tendrils with the jewel appearing some- 
where in the scheme. Guards of this type, on account of their Chinese 
character, are quite often called Kannon or Kant on tsuba. In some cases 
the design itself is beautifully proportioned and therefore appealing; 
for the most part, however, the admiration aroused for these tsuba is 
due to the technique displayed in the skillful undercutting of the tendrils 
and dragons which are intricately interlaced. The two Namban tsuba on 
Plate XVIII, while similar in their general effect, have distinguishing 
characteristics that are of interest. Fig. 2 is round, of iron, with touches 
of gold nunome and bounded by a plain rim. 

The chiselled design is that of two dragons affronte with a round 
jewel-like object between them at the top of the tsuba. At the base 
is a formalized presentation of the Chinese character shou ("long life"). 
The dragons are of the five-clawed imperial type, scaled beings with 
flaming appendages, and they are writhing through a network of scrolls, 
which possibly represent clouds ; the whole design is carved in the round. 
Of quite a different form are the two dragons in Fig. 3 of Plate XVIII, 
a tsuba inclined more toward the oval than the round and decorated on 
the chiselled edge with a pearling which represents the petals of the 
chrysanthemum. As is often the case with certain Namban tsuba, the 
seppa dai is of an ornamental form pointed at the top and base. On 
other tsuba it is squared and covered with a wave design. The dragons 
in this case are more crudely drawn than those on the circular guard, 
and have tails of fan shape. They are likewise intertwined with a com- 
plicated scroll motive, and are facing a jewel. , 

This ornamentation of two dragons flying toward a ball or flaming 
spiral is an ancient and frequent motive in both Chinese and Japanese 
art. A common explanation in China is the Buddhistic idea of the eager 
striving of the dragons for the "pearl of perfection," thus identifying 
the dragon with the Indian Naga and the ball with the precious pearl 
(cintamani) which grants all desires. In Japan the dragon generally 

1 H. Joly, Note sur le fer et le style namban (Bull, de la Soc. Franco- 
Japonaise, Vol. XXXIII). 


Namban and Hizen Tsuba 75 

represents the genius of rainfall, as may be seen in the dragon festival 
on the fifteenth day of the first month, wherein the huge dragon is car- 
ried through the streets pursuing a ball which is borne at the head of the 
procession, and which is the symbol of the thunder that has been belched 
forth by the creature who apparently seeks to repossess it. M. De 
Visser 1 discusses at length the meaning of the two dragons with open 
mouths flying toward the jewel, quoting several opinions and citing a 
certain Chinese picture wherein two dragons face a fiery spiral-shaped 
ball. Beneath is the title, "A couple of dragons facing the moon." This 
interpretation he is inclined to favor, since he thinks it reasonable that 
the dragons, which are the clouds, would wish to swallow the moon, the 
symbol of fertilizing rain thereby storing up the water with which they 
later would bless the earth. He adds, "We know the close connection 
of dragons and pearls in both religions (Buddhism and Taoism). This 
connection is quite logical ; for the masters of the sea are, of course, 
the possessors and guardians of its treasures. When the clouds ap- 
proached and covered the moon, the ancient Chinese may have thought 
that the dragons had seized and swallowed this pearl, more brilliant than 
all their pearls of the sea." As to the true meaning of the design, 
whether the "jewel" represents the thunder, the moon, or the pearl, 
writers are still at variance ; the primary interest in this study centers on 
the fact that this Chinese idea influenced the Namban group of artists 
for three centuries. The early Namban tsuba are rarely signed, but 
after the style became popular, scores were made at Kyoto and Nagasaki 
which have the signatures of mediocre artists. 

On account of a certain similarity of technique and quality of iron, 
the Hizen tsuba are often classed along with the Namban guards, though 
their predominant decoration is of such individuality as to warrant a 
distinct grouping. It was in the late eighteenth century that Mitsuhiro 
of Yagami in Hizen began making sword-fittings of iron chiselled in 
openwork with a design of a hundred monkeys. He was followed by 
a son of the same name and by Yoshitsugu, a Nagasaki artist, both of 
whom improved upon the technique of the founder and added to the 
family repertoire designs of a hundred horses, a hundred rabbits, and 
other "hundreds." The tsuba in Plate XIX, Fig. i, is unsigned, circu- 
lar, and filled within the slender rim with figures of monkeys carved in 
all attitudes distinctly different on the two sides of the tsuba. The seppa 
dai is chased with the formal wave design common to these pieces. A 
small fuchi in this collection is covered entirely with monkeys (too 

1 The Dragon in Japan and China, pp. 103-108. 

y6 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

minute for reproduction) whose eyes are inlaid in gold. Certain Hizen 
tsuba are solid placques inlaid in silver nunome with a design of dragons 
or birds strongly reflective of Chinese influence. 

The only port open to foreigners, during the time of the exclusive 
policy of the Tokugawa shoguns, was that of Nagasaki in Hizen, where 
the Dutch were allowed to land a limited number of boats, and where 
imports from China were pouring in, constantly refreshening the stream 
of inspiration from which the Japanese had so freely partaken. In the 
late seventeenth or early eighteenth century, a certain custom's official 
of Nagasaki, named Jakushi Kizayemon, was greatly influenced by his 
association with the people and objects to be seen in this port. He was 
at first a painter, but is said to have learned from the foreigners the art 
of etching metals in relief by means of acids, whereupon he transferred 
his attention from painting to working in metal. He soon became a 
noted maker of tsuba and applied to the iron grounds which he always 
used, brilliant designs suggestive of the Chinese artists who had been 
the source of his inspiration as a painter. These decorations are com- 
binations of relief in iron covered over with very fine nunome-zogan in 
varying shades of gold and silver. Dragons in the waves, birds flying 
through clouds, and occasionally figures were depicted by this artist, but 
it was in the pure landscape that he excelled primarily, introducing, as 
he did through his tsuba, the detailed stretches of mountain scenery 
suggested by contemporary paintings from the continent. 

The unsigned tsuba (Plate XIX, Figs. 2-3) is thoroughly character- 
istic of the work of this artist and his followers, and from the excel- 
lence of technique is judged to be an authentic product of Jakushi II, 
who was a son of Jakushi I, and whose work resembles closely that of 
his father. It is of mokko form, of brown iron, and covered on both 
sides with a charming landscape in pure Chinese style. On the obverse 
in relief covered over with delicate nunome-zogan of three shades of 
gold, rocky promontories tower up into a sky flecked with golden clouds 
beyond which a full silvery moon emerges. Below, rocks of lesser height 
and pine-clad, overhang a lake whereon five small sailboats and a 
larger junk are inlaid in relief of silver and gold. Two tiny figures, in 
relief of shakudo, are walking out on a bank beneath pavilions nestled 
in the rocks. The scene continues on the reverse side, where another 
small figure is seen crossing a bridge over the shining waves, and about 
to enter another rocky retreat. 

Jakushi II, also known as Kizayemon, was even more expert than 
his father in this work of delicate inlay. He was followed by Yeirakudo 

jiifERsmf o* mi**; vuuki 



«c ^ .s*.**>mj*i*^*- 


of Nagasaki and a host of copyists who imitated with more or less suc- 
cess the style of the two masters. 

Another artist, who at first chose Chinese subjects as motives for the 
decoration of his sword-fittings, was Kitagawa Soten who lived in 
Hikone in the province of Goshu, which is the Sino-Japanese name for 
Omi. He not only produced solid tsuba, but also worked in marubori 
zogan, carving in the round decorated with colored inlay, a combination 
which became extremely popular, and which is sometimes termed hikone 
bori from the name of the town Hikone. Unfortunately, there was 
such a demand for this type of tsuba that a wholesale production of 
signed and unsigned copies of tawdry appearance took place at Aizu in 
the nineteenth century; and many of these examples have crossed the 
waters and become the representatives of this school in several collec- 
tions, thereby falsely prejudicing a number of people against all work 
of this name. , 

The genuine products of Soten I and his son Soten II, when care- 
fully studied, evoke admiration and interest both on account of their 
technique and the subjects illustrated. The foundation metal is usually 
iron, though there is an excellent shakudo tsuba in this collection. At 
first Chinese subjects seem to have engrossed Soten I, but later incidents 
from Japanese history and folk-lore were realistically portrayed bringing 
out episodes of intense interest. The costumes and armor on the figures 
are often inlaid with great care and effectiveness, the faces are generally 
in relief of copper or silver, while the landscape is encrusted with gold 

Soten I, also known as Shuten, lived in the early part of the seven- 
teenth century. He probably used the name Soheishi and the title 
Niudo, which originally indicated retirement from worldly affairs to the 
calm of Buddhistic contemplation. 1 Both of these names were adopted 
by Soten II, who is said to have inscribed his name in a larger and bolder 
manner than his father. The school of Hikone was carried on by certain 
members of the Nomura family, chief among whom was Kanenori 
(early eighteenth century), a pupil of Soten II, who closely followed his 
master's style. , 

Two incidents in Japanese history are vividly portrayed on the tsuba 
(Plate XX, Figs. 1-2), both of which are of iron. The first is signed: 
"Soten who lived in Hikone in Goshu." The scene depicted is that 
known as Fuji no-makigari ("Hunting at the base of Fuji"), a pastime 

*H. Joly, Inscriptions on Japanese Sword Fittings (Transactions Japan 
Soc, Vol. XV, p. 88). 

78 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

of great popularity under the Kamakura shoguns. Above, at the right, 
may be seen Yoritomo (1147-29), the founder of the shogunate, riding 
along on his horse led by two grooms; all are fully armored. A third 
attendant follows him, bearing the Minamoto field signal (umajirushi), 
a tuft of long streamers surmounted by the family crest, which is 
a formalized combination of bamboo leaves and three flowers of the 
gentian (Gentiana scabra, rindo in Japanese). An armored companion 
clutching a long halberd with blade of silver, stands barring the path and 
ready to attack a large wild boar which a hunter is stabbing in the back. 
The precipitous path is broken by gnarled pines, bamboo shoots, gourd 
vines, and a rushing stream, all touched with nunome-zogan in different 
shades of gold. Portions of a camp curtain suggesting an enclosed sec- 
tion of the country may be seen above and below chiselled from the iron 
and bearing reliefs of silver and gold. On the reverse side of the tsuba, 
two other armored hunters stand beneath a waterfall, awaiting the at- 
tack; one is blowing upon a conch-trumpet. 

Dramatic incidents which occurred at the important battle of Dan- 
no-Ura (a.d. 1185), the decisive victory of the Minamoto over the Taira, 
are told on both of the sculptured faces of the other tsuba (Plate XX, 
Figs. 2-3) which is signed : Niudo Soten Sei Soheishi Hikone jiu 
Goshu ("Niudo Soten Sdheshi made [this], living in Hikone of 
Goshu") : On the obverse, at the top, is the imperial phcenix-headed 
boat of the empress dowager Ni-i no ama, who stands holding the seven- 
year old child-emperor Antoku. Below, she sees her enemy Minamoto 
Yoshitsune (the young brother of Yoritomo), who has leaped over eight 
boats, and who is escaping from Noritsune, the Taira warrior. This 
incident is known as the Hasso tobi ("Eight boat jump"). Noristune, 
who endeavored to capture Yoshitsune, was impeded by two wrestlers. 
Finally, in despair, he jumped into the sea and was drowned. His feet 
are seen protruding from the waves toward which Yoshitsune is turning. 
The dowager empress, on seeing the battle lost, prepares to jump into 
the waves with the young emperor. 1 On the reverse side, four boats 
are tossing about in the rough and foam-flecked waves. An armored 
knight may be seen in each of the boats which are effectively inlaid in 
gold nunome. The standards of the Minamoto and the Taira are in 
evidence, as is also a long narrow banner of the form fukinagashi. One 
is impressed by the fact that these artists undoubtedly deserve a place 
among the skilled workers in metal, and that they have also left some 
important historical documents in their carefully conceived designs. 

1 For continuation of Antoku's life under the sea, see M. De Visser, The 
Dragon in China and Japan, p. 197. 


Although during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, alloys had 
come into general use, and though the luxurious fashions of the Toku- 
gawa court had called forth lavish decoration even on the fittings for the 
sword, there were certain groups of artists who continued to work 
almost entirely in iron, disdaining the softer metals of varying shades. 
Some of the sword-guards produced by these men are unusually beau- 
tiful in the purity of their designs, being for the most part executed in 
positive or negative silhouette carved with unerring accuracy and in 
many cases finished with fine lines of surface engraving. 

As a group, the members of the schools in the province of Higo were 
perhaps the most prolific, having left many striking examples of this 
type of iron work. The fact that this province is far removed from 
the shogun's capital may account for a certain persistency in the style of 
these pieces, as must also the circumstance that they are said to have 
been made primarily for one family, that of the powerful Hosokawa. 
For three centuries, this family ruled the province of Higo as daimyo 
from the time of Prince Hosokawa Sansai Tadaoki (i 564-1645), who 
in his leisure moments is reported to have made sword-fittings. 1 Besides 
independent groups of artists, there were five schools of metal workers in 
Higo, each of which developed distinguishing characteristics. Hirata 
Hikozo and Nishigaki Kanshiro were the founders of two schools, and 
themselves made sword-fittings for the Prince Tadaoki. Each was 
followed by many pupils and descendants who for several generations 
carried on their style of chiselling designs in negative silhouette. Two 
circular tsuba on Plate XXI admirably illustrate the effective use these 
artists made of cutting away the iron in ornamental designs, such as the 
cherry-blossom and the spray of wistaria (Fig. 1), and the cherry and 
chrysanthemum (Fig. 2). Both of these iron guards are characteristic 
of the work of the Hirata family, who preferred the negative silhouettes 
in contrast to the positive silhouettes of other Higo artists. One half of 
the tsuba reproduced in Fig. 2 is carved to represent the chrysanthemum, 
while the other half is solid and chiselled with a surface decoration of 
radiating lines common to Higo guards and known by the name Amida 
yasurime or tagane ("Amida filing or chiselling"), so called because 

1 G. Jacoby, Die Schwertzieraten der Provinz Higo, pp. 6-7. 


80 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

suggestive of the rays of light emanating from the halo of Amida 
(Amitabha), the Buddha of Endless Light. Straight lines representing 
rain are also to be seen chiselled as a ground on these particular guards. 

The followers of Nishigaki Kanshiro not only made tsuba carved in 
openwork, somewhat similar to the preceding examples, but they also 
left solid sword-guards ornamented with designs in low relief and cov- 
ered with nunome-zogan. Of such a type is Fig. 3 in Plate XXI, 
whereon the rain dragon and two rolling clouds are carved in relief and 
tinged with silver inlay. On the reverse of this guard of irregular mokko 
form there are incised, within a ring, five Chinese characters of antique 
style. A tsuba whose obverse side is very similar to this one is re- 
produced in the book, referred to above, by G. Jacoby (p. 34), which is 
an elaboration of the Japanese work Higo Kinkoroku of S. Nagaya. 
Therein the different workers are listed, their signatures given, and 
their work commented upon in detail. 

We learn from the illustrations reproducing the work of the Shimizu 
family, the third Higo school, that this particular group specialized in 
form there are incised, within a ring, five Chinese characters of antique 
monkey, or standing on a branch looking with searching eye for prey. 
The octopus placed at the top of the tsuba with its long tentacles extend- 
ing along the sides is another favorite motive for these artists, most of 
whom used the name Jingo in conjunction with their other names in 
signing their work, thereby giving the appellation "Jingo tsuba" to much 
of the iron work with brass reliefs. , 

The Kamiyoshi family, who were the early members of the fourth 
group, had several representatives who produced fine tsuba, the last 
of fame being Masayasu Rakuju (nineteenth century), who continued 
the family custom of adorning the iron, wheref rom he cut designs both in 
negative and positive silhouette, with thread-like spirals or diamond 
shapes in relief of gold. The Hosokawa crest which consists of one 
large circle surrounded by eight small ones occasionally appears in 
miniature inlaid in gold several times on a specimen, thus adding a 
brilliancy to the dark iron which makes a very rich effect. 

Most famous of the five Higo schools is that of the Kasuga masters 
founded by Hayashi Matashichi (1608-91), whose products for the 
most part are of deep black iron, though some are known which are 
of copper, shibuichi, and shakudo. He inlaid pure gold wire on some 
of his tsuba, thereby producing brilliant effects. The crane with spread- 
ing wings and head turned to the side has been the basis for some of 
the most delicately chiselled tsuba made by these artists. The whole 

WIBBtt&LYM* imW 

**•■ -^ ***►.< 

fawS nroFai»tBnA«» 

Kasuga of Higo 8i 

design is cut in positive silhouette, the feathers oftentimes being out- 
lined by spans of iron less than one millimeter in width. With the same 
power and grace the Kasuga masters chiselled a spray of the plum 
(Plate XXII, Fig. i), curving the body of the branch so as to form an 
irregular rim within which the twigs and blossoms are so placed as to 
fill the circle with a protective web of beautiful design. Surface carving 
accentuates the outline of the buds and delicately suggests the stamens 
of the plum-blossoms. 

The same technique is displayed on the following specimen (Plate 
XXII, Fig. 2), which is likewise a characteristic Kasuga tsuba. Two 
diagonal lines, — one of considerable breadth, the other very narrow, — 
boldly cross the lower portion of the guard, while above in realistic 
carving are leaves and buds of the kiri {Paulownia im per talis) , that 
plant which is the foundation of several crest designs, one of which 
appears in combination with other family insignia in Fig. 3, Plate XXII. 

The kiri mon is one of the two imperial crests, the other being the 
kiku ("chrysanthemum"). The kiri is represented either with five and 
seven blossoms {go-shichi no kiri), which is the imperial form, or with 
five and three blossoms, generally the form used by other families of 
Japan. "The imperial kiri mon seems to have been of very ancient use, 
and was conferred as a subsidiary mon upon the great Minamoto war- 
rior Yoshiiye (see Plate LI I, Fig. 1), perhaps better known by his 
youthful name of Hachimantaro. Yoshiiye died in 1108, but the badge 
was transmitted as kayemon ('subsidiary badge') to several great mili- 
tary families descended from him, who flourished during the five suc- 
ceeding centuries. These were the Hatakeyama, the Hosokawa, the 
Imagawa, the Nitta, the Shiba, and the Yamana, the last-named bearing 
it as a jomon ('fixed badge'). Moreover, seventeen daimyo families of 
Tokugawa times bore the badge as kayemon, and one, the So of Tsushi- 
ma, as jomon; besides four kuge families, and lastly the great Hide- 
yoshi himself, who bore both imperial mon, Paulownia, and chrysanthe- 
mum, and even presented surcoats bearing them to favored vassals. This 
should suffice to demonstrate that the presence of the imperial badge on 
any work of art in no wise implies any connection with the august line 
of the Son of Heaven." 1 

The three other crests on this tsuba are the mitsu-tomoye adopted by 
Arima, a daimyo of Shimozuke Province ; the hanabishi, the crest of the 
samurai family Torio; and the omodaka {Alisima plantago) in the form 

1 A. Koop, Construction and Blazonry of Mon (Transactions Japan Soc, 
Vol. IX, p. 296). 

82 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

used by Mizuno, a daimyo of the province of Kazusa. 1 The maker of 
this tsuba has chiselled the crests in positive silhouette with kebori lines 
to bring out details, and placed them equidistant from one another, 
dividing the spaces by lines of flying birds. 

, This unsigned tsuba is quite as characteristic of the school known as 
the Akasaka, as it is of the Kasuga, but it is thought on account of the 
kiri crest which was used by the Hosokawa family of Higo that it is 
more likely to have been produced in that province. Akasaka tsuba are 
likewise of iron and for the most part triumphs of chiselling in open- 
work generally in the positive silhouette style. Some of the most appeal- 
ing ones are composed of inscriptions written in cursive. 2 This school 
is said to have originated in the shop of a dealer, named Karigane Hiko- 
bei, who lived in the seventeenth century, at first in Kyoto. Under his 
strict surveillance Tadamasa I, a skilled metal worker, produced tsuba 
which were suggestive of the Heianjo sukashi guards. Hikobei, being a 
severe critic and himself a designer, is reported to have destroyed all 
pieces made in his studio which did not come up to his standard of 
excellence, thus maintaining a high quality, which has given these tsuba 
an enviable reputation. The name Akasaka comes from a district in Yedo 
whither Hikobei moved when the shogun's capital became the gathering 
place for many artists. There the dealer founded a distinct school 
among whose members were Tadamasa I, II, and Masatora as well as 
five men, by the name of Tadatoki. The first three of these Akasaka 
masters did not sign their tsuba and worked in the Heianjo style. From 
1 akatoki I on, the artists of this family were strongly influenced by the 
Kasuga and Nishigaki schools of Higo, using many of the same designs 
and finishing their work with kebori. They usually cut away the maxi- 
mum amount of iron, leaving in many cases extremely narrow spans of 
the metal to outline the motives. 

The Sunagawa school was an offshoot of the Akasaka, having been 
founded by Masatora in the eighteenth century. While the members of 
this group left many pieces in perforated designs which are pleasing, on 
the whole, Sunagawa tsuba do not possess the grace and delicacy of the 
parent school. The same may be said with some reservation of the 
Akao school, who were greatly influenced by the Akasaka family, and 
who produced beautiful tsuba, usually of conventionalized design. This 
school originated in Echizen in the early eighteenth century, and certain 

*H. Strohl, Japanisches Wappenbuch, pp. 102, 132, 149. 
*H. Joly, Inscriptions on Japanese Sword Fittngs (Transactions Japan 
Soc, Vol. XV, p. 96). 

Satsuma Tsuba. Kinai of Echizen 83 

members remained in that province, while others migrated to Yedo. The 
small iron tsuba (Plate XXIII, Fig. 1), formed by the crossing of the 
outspread wings of three geese, is characteristic of the more formalized 
nature motives which were preferred by the Akao group. Yoshitsugu, 
a samurai to the daimyo of Echizen, was the first renowned member of 
this family. He was followed by a son of the same name. 

The bamboo, the gourd, and the bean are the designs most frequently 
met with in the tsuba which were made by an atelier in Satsuma Prov- 
ince. Naoka of the Oda family in the early eighteenth century 
produced many guards which resemble closely the one in Plate XXIII, 
Fig. 2, which is unsigned. The artist has carved in the round a 
gourd with twisting stem, tendrils, and leaves, the veining of which he 
has brought out by finely cut, low relief and kebori. Certain of these 
guards, particularly those bearing the signature of Fujiwara Naoka, 
are fashioned to represent bamboo sprays with young leaves. One of 
particular beauty is that in the Oeder collection. 1 The Satsuma school 
excelled in its fine treatment and tempering of the iron, and almost 
always based its designs upon the three plants mentioned above. 

In the province of Echizen, the most famous school of tsuba makers 
is that of the Kinai, so called from the name of five artists, who made 
sword-guards of iron chiselled in openwork designs of plants, dragons, 
shells, masks, and cranes. These tsuba were widely imitated, many of 
the copies being inlaid in gold, a method of decoration rarely to be seen 
in the true work of the masters. 

The first Kinai of the Ishikawa family died in 1680. F. Brinkley 2 
relates having seen his tomb, as well as that of the second Kinai which 
is dated 1699. H. Joly informs us that "the first and second Kinai 
made chiefly circular and somewhat large guards, the third affected 
dragon designs, and his followers continued the tradition, though after 
the fifth, all kinds of designs prevail." 3 The unusual finish on some 
Kinai guards is due to a coating of magnetic iron oxide, a process which 
the copyists also employed. This treatment produced a black patina of 
considerable brilliancy. Certain Kinai tsuba are signed "Ken jo," which 
means "made for presentation." These are thought by M. de Tressan 
to be the work of Kinai II, called Takahashi. Working in the second 
half of the seventeenth century, he must have produced them for the 
daimyo, all of whom were required to go to the shogun's capital each year 

*P. Vautier, Japanische Stichblatter und Schwertzieraten, Sammlung G. 
Oeder, p. 75, No. 627. 

"F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 374. 

*H. Joly and K. Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 136. 

84 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

in compliance with the edict announcing this duty, and published by 
Tokugawa Iyemitsu in 1642. 1 It was customary on these occasions to pre- 
sent the shogun with gifts. In the attribution of these tsuba to Kinai II, 
F. Brinkley agrees with M. de Tressan, adding that this artist also 
produced for the feudal chief of Echizen many other objects, such as 
chojiburo and incense holders with perforated patterns of lace-like fine- 
ness. For exceptional sukashibori work in iron the Kinai are unsur- 
passed by any of the other seventeenth-century artists. Three tsuba 
signed: Kinai saku Echizen ju ("made by Kinai living in Echizen") 
have been chosen from several in this collection, similarly signed, in the 
belief that they are genuine examples of one of the five masters. The 
one in Plate XXIII, Fig. 3, is of black iron, resembling the work of 
Kinai I, who specialized in large circular guards similar to this one. 
The design consists of two kiri crests placed between scroll-like vines 
and leaves chiselled a jour within a narrow rim. This example was at 
one time in the collection of M. Gillot of Paris. 

The design of the smaller tsuba (Plate XXIV, Fig. 1), which is also 
of iron with black patina, must have been one which the Kinai school 
distinctly favored, since four guards made of masks strongly similar to 
this one are known to the writer. There is a sparing use of gold on this 
particular guard effectively employed to inlay the pupils of the eyes. 
This fact arouses a doubt as to whether it is a work of one of the 
Kinai masters ; however, in studying the excellent chiselling and sensing 
the realistic reproduction of the No masks themselves, one instinctively 
feels that behind the tools was the hand of a master craftsman. The 
reverse side is quite as interesting as the obverse. The backs of the 
masks are cleverly carved and the tying cords issuing from the sculp- 
tured ears fall in studied carelessness and knit the separate parts of the 
design into a perfect unit. The masks represent characters often im- 
personated in the No drama, and reading from the top around by the 
right side are: Sumiyoshi Otoko ("Sumiyoshi, a young man"), Hannya 
("a horned female demon"), Chorei aku ken ("a long-lived, dumb, 
seeing ghost"), Jisungami ("ten foot kami"), and Shu be akui ("eagle- 
nosed, wicked officer"). 2 

The third Kinai tsuba (Plate XXIV, Fig. 2) is a carving of five 
flying cranes, masterfully distributed so as to make on both sides of the 
guard a composition full of vitality and grace. The feathers on wings, 
backs, breasts, and necks are chiselled in kebori in differing strokes with 

^f.i-san, Notes sur l'art japonaise, p. 203. 

'These identifications are in accordance with the book on No drama by M. 
Shojiro, Nogaku Daijiten Fuzu. 


Ti. „ ,,■?* 




Satsuma Tsuba. Kinai of Echizen 85 

exceeding care and skill, reproducing the soft feather texture to a re- 
markable degree. The overlapping of the wings on the edge and the 
skillful curving of the long necks which outline the riohitsu are evidence 
of that art of design which seems to be a prevailing gift of the 
Japanese artist. 


With the warring epochs definitely closed under the early Tokugawa 
shoguns the end of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witnessed 
the culmination of the indulgent and luxurious life of the members of 
the military class. Tales are told of daimyo who, having lost much of 
their political power, sought satisfaction in the fields of art and poetry, 
and who, on account of their leisure worshipped richness and adornment 
to the extent of painting themselves after the fashion of women and 
matching their decorated swords with the magnificent costumes which 
were commonly worn in their court ceremonies. Merchants likewise 
became more prosperous, and many of them took to wearing swords 
along with their writing outfits (yatate) thrust through their belts. Due 
to these developments, the metal-workers outvied one another to produce 
sword-fittings of extreme beauty and elegance, and likewise, in order 
to satisfy the demands of the lower classes, artisans, copying the artists, 
turned out replicas and shiiremono in great number. Though the art of 
incrustation on gold had been mastered by many of the artists, certain 
ones, particularly those of the Gotd school, and some of the Nara group, 
continued to use pure gold in their reliefs. These luxurious excesses 
were indulged in lavishly until 1830 when due to the low ebb of the state 
finances, the shogun's representative in Kyoto, Mizuno Tadakuni Echi- 
zen no kami, forbade the further use of any more ornaments of solid 
gold. To elude this law, those who wished the pure gold are known to 
have had the ornaments covered with black lacquer. 1 From 1830 to 
1840 there occurred a half-hearted return to the old simplicity which 
later on was followed by an outburst of elaborate decoration. 2 

It was during the century preceding 1830, before the decadence had 
set in, that the finest work and most artistic tsuba and other fittings 
of alloys were made by members of the famous Nara school. 

This is one of the largest and most widely known groups of metal- 
workers, whose work is characterized by a large variety of subjects for 
decoration, as well as the employment of many different metals. Taking 
their inspiration direct from nature, the early artists worked in iron 

1 A. Mosl£, The Ornaments of the Goto Shirobei Family {Transactions 
Japan Soc, Vol. VIII, p. 193). 

a H. Joly, Japanese Sword Fittings in the Naunton Collection, p. xxiv. 


The Nara School 87 

with reliefs of gold or silver depicting birds and flowers with striking 
realism and freedom. Historical and legendary subjects also inspired 
them occasionally, for they were bold in borrowing from Chinese and 
Japanese folk-lore pictorial compositions hitherto unused on sword- 
fittings. The alloys carefully treated became the delight of the later 
masters of the school who sculptured figures with exceeding skill. 

Founded by a seceder from the Goto, by name Toshiteru of Yedo, 
in the early seventeenth century, the history of the Nara school is not 
known in detail in its early years. Toshiteru was followed by Toshi- 
mune, who may have been his son. Toshiharu, a third Nara master, 
who used the names Yechizen and Soyu, was the son of Toshimune. He 
and Toshihisa and Yasuchika are sometimes called the Nara Sambuku 
tsui: "three pictures of the Nara family." 1 Toshinaga, son of Toshi- 
haru and the fourth Nara master lived at the end of the seventeenth 
century and also used the name Chikan. He was followed by two other 
artists of the same name, who, however, signed it in different characters. 
Toshinaga Zenzo was a pupil of Toshinaga Chikan and worked in Yedo 
in the early eighteenth century. 

The first of the three great masters of this school was Toshinaga, 
who is generally known as Toshinaga I and also as Tahei. He was a 
pupil of Toshiharu, and is noted for his skill in the modelling of figures. 
He was born in 1667 and lived to be seventy years of age. His son 
Toshinaga II signed his name identically with his father (see Plate LXI, 
Fig. I for kakihan). His work, while good, has not the power of the 
former master. 

Next to Toshinaga I, in fame, stands Sugiura Joi, who was born in 
1700 and died in 1761. He worked in Yedo, signing his work Issando, 
Nagaharu or Tashichi, and often used the seal characters for his signa- 
ture, as is the case on two examples in this collection (Plate LXI,Fig. 2). 
Though a pupil of Toshinaga Zinzo, he has marked characteristics, 
which easily differentiate his work from the other Nara artists. Care- 
fully treating his surfaces of copper, brass, shakudo, or shibuichi, he 
usually modelled his figures in intaglio relievato, a low sunken relief, 
which gives the effect of the figure rising out of the metal. He has 
been greatly imitated, as have most of the Nara masters. A subject 
which he rendered many times is one of the Shichifukujin or seven 
gods of good luck, Hotei, the genius of contentment and the special 
friend of children. This household deity was adopted from China, 
where he is known as the "cloth-bag monk" (Pu-tai Ho-shang). He 

'F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 276. 

88 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

is also, though wrongly, identified by the Chinese with Mi-lo Fu 
(Maitreya), the coming Buddha, and his image is often to be seen 
set up as guardian of the Buddhist temples. On the copper tsuba 
(Plate XXV, Fig. i) with ishime surface, his smiling face appears rest- 
ing on his crossed arms, as he leans over his huge sack from beneath 
which crawls a child holding a fan. Though the whole of the sculpture 
is recessed, and the relief is low, the modelling is of so excellent a 
quality that the impression is one of high rounded relief. Medallions 
of various designs are inlaid in gold hirazogan on the bag, and the name 
Joi in seal characters is inlaid in the same manner on the reverse side 
of the tsuba. 

A sword-guard of sentoku, also the work of this master, is signed 
with his adopted name "Nagaharu," and may be studied from Fig. 2 on 
Plate XXV. At the right in intaglio relievato is a Mongol riding a 
small galloping horse and turning to look above into a pine-tree from 
which depend long, parasitic vines. He has released an arrow from his 
bow which he still holds aloft, and which is of the type of the composite 
bow used by the Mongol and Turkish tribes. On the reverse, executed 
in the same technique, is a surprised and delighted attendant moving for- 
ward with outstretched hands to pick up a bird which has been wounded 
by the arrow. This subject may have been copied from a Chinese 
painting. The tree is drawn in the style of the Sesshu school which 
was thoroughly imbued with the Chinese spirit and whose pictures, as 
well as those of the contemporary schools, were constant sources of 
inspiration to the metal craftsman. Joi has masterfully reproduced in 
these branches and vines, the strokes of the pliant, fully inked brush 
of the painter, by sculpturing this part of his decoration in what is 
called katakiribori. By this method of chiselling the artist aims to 
convert his burin into the brush of the painter, and produce by one 
effort of cutting strokes of varying strength and directness which cor- 
respond in significant depth and lightness to the modulated strokes of 
the painter's brush. 

Jowa, a nephew and pupil of Joi, was an artist of considerable ability, 
who copied to a certain degree his master's style, though he produced 
several fittings which have a characteristic individuality. Using a modi- 
fied intaglio relievato, he has sculptured an illustration (Plate XXV, 
Fig- 3) °f tne popular legend of Tadamori, the twelfth-century hero, 
who was a faithful supporter of the emperor Toba. It is related that 
one rainy night he with the emperor perceived what was reported to be a 
monster with flaming mouth speeding along the road toward the temple 

gfliEisiTY of EJUOHi imm) 

*-** ^%* j*^r» 

The Nara School 89 

Yasaka no Yashiro. Tadamori bravely sprang upon the creature with 
bristling mane, only to discover that it was a faithful old priest who was 
performing his duty of refilling the temple lamps with oil. Jowa has 
inlaid the battered straw rain-hat in gold nunome-zogan, which against 
the night-like dark blue shakudo ground of the tsuba gives to the old 
priest the effect of a halo. Tadamori garbed in court-costume clutches 
the oil pot and wears upon his face (in low relief of shibuichi) the ex- 
pression of grim determination which we are told soon turned to apol- 
ogetic gentleness, when he discovered his mistake. On the reverse 
boldly sculptured stands the stone lantern beneath driving, slanting rain- 
strokes ; a sprig of bamboo in relief of gold is inlaid at the base of the 

Of equal pictorial quality and technical excellence is the tsuba on 
Plate XXVI, Figs. 1 and 2, by Tsuneshige, who is but another repre- 
sentative of the large number of skilled artists of the Nara school. He 
worked in the middle of the eighteenth century and occasionally signed 
his products with the name Masayoshi (written with characters dif- 
ferent from two other Masayoshi of the Nara school, listed by S. 
Hara). Though a pupil of Shigetsugu, he evidently owes much of his 
art to Joi, whose method of low relief he has utilized in carving this 
tsuba of shibuichi. Shdki, the demon queller, is forcefully portrayed 
with menacing countenance and sword in hand, as he seeks to capture 
the mischievous oni, which, hiding behind the pine-tree on the reverse 
side, calls back in defiance to his would-be persecutor. Shoki, one of 
the most conspicuous figures in Japanese art, is another of the char- 
acters adopted from the lore of China, where he is known as Chung 
K'wei. He is said to have been a ghostly guardian of the emperor Genso, 
who once in a dream saw the young man seize and eat a demon who 
was stealing a flute from the emperor's apartment. On awaking, the 
ruler asked him who he was, and the guardian confessed that he had 
been a student of the time of Kan no Koso, that he had failed to pass 
the imperial examinations and had slain himself in humiliation. He was 
buried with high honors by order of the emperor, and in gratitude his 
spirit had vowed to expel all demons from the kingdom. In China he is 
represented as a ragged old man accompanied by the bat, symbolic of 
happiness ; but in Japan he is usually pictured, as here, a large man 
with flowing beard, wearing official garb and a broad hat or Chinese 
cap, and carrying a two-edged sword. He is very often the victim of 
the demons whom he chases, and who secrete themselves out of his 

90 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

reach, sometimes on tall tree-branches or beneath the bridge over which 
he is raging. 1 

One of the difficulties typical in the study of the artists in metal-work 
in Japan arises when one encounters the name of Yasuchika, that borne 
by the artist who in company with Toshinaga I and Joi forms the 
famous triumvirate of Nara masters. His family name is Tsuchiya, 
and he lived from 1669 to 1744, using the signatures of Yasunobu, Tou, 
and Yagohachi. He was followed by five artists of varying skill who 
took the name Yasuchika. His own son (1694-1747) and pupil, Yasu- 
chika II, like his father, produced tsuba with fine decorative effects, ex- 
celling the first master in technical skill. These two artists used the same 
noms de plume, as well as inscribing the name Yasuchika in much the 
same manner. M. de Tressan 2 finds that Yasuchika II writes the char- 
acter "Yasu" in a more elongated manner than Yasuchika I, and other 
writers speak of differentiations which help us to distinguish the work of 
these artists, but, unfortunately, do not tell us what they are. The third 
Yasuchika signed in cursive. The fourth and fifth, both of whom lived 
in the early nineteenth century, used many names, all listed by S. Hara. 
Yasuchika V is represented here by a tsuba, which is signed "Tounsai," 
as well as being inscribed "Masachika," which is a name adopted by Yasu- 
chika VI. This occurrence is like adding insult to injury, making the 
the situation truly confusion worse confounded ! 

Tsuchiya Yasuchika I, in contrast with his contemporaries, who for 
the most part adorned their fittings with illustrations of historical and 
legendary subjects, preferred purely decorative designs. Doubtless 
he was strongly influenced in this choice by the great impressionist 
painter Ogata Korin, who was a contemporary of his master Tatsumasa, 
and whose purely Japanese nature-studies with their broad, bold designs 
are very decidedly reflected in the decoration of much of the pottery, 
lacquer and metal work of this period. 

The second Yasuchika, following his father's style with improved 
technique, is thought to be the creator of the tsuba (Plate XXVII, Fig. 
1), which is literally a painting in metal. The ground, a soft gray tone 
of shibuichi, is slightly chiselled so as to afford a roughened place 
whereon may cling the ivy vine in relief of two shades of gold and 
copper. Through an irregular hole a silver snake, whose full length is 
coiled on the reverse, looks downward toward a large snail bearing its 
shell upon its back and reaching its tentacles up toward the vine. A 

*H. Joly, Legend in Japanese Art, p. 322. 

*L'Evolution de la garde de sabre japonaise {Bull, de la Soc. Franco- 
Japonaise, Vol. XXV, p. 55). 


e: ■ - - 

The Nara School 91 

small frog is inlaid in relief of gold on the reverse of the tsuba. No 
conception of the true beauty of the guard can be gained from a black 
and white reproduction, for the genius of the artist lies in the skillful 
blending of the copper and shakudo, which has been finished with a rare 
treatment to produce the slimy body of the snail. The shell likewise is 
a masterful combination of shibuichi, sentoku, and shakudo, so "mixed" 
as to defy any detection of joining. This subject might be termed the 
"survival of the fittest," for the popular interpretation reads, "The 
snake eats the frog, the frog eats the snail, and the snail poisons the 
snake." The Japanese call this association San Sukime ("the Three 
Shrinks"), and the children use the names of the three animals in decid- 
ing who is to be "it" in a game by simultaneously shouting one of the 
names, the "fittest" remaining free. 

Reverting to the pictorial style, Yasuchika VI chose a favorite sub- 
ject for the decoration of the tsuba (Plate XXVII, Fig. 2), which he 
signed "Tsuchiya Masachika {kakihan) Tounsai." On this highly fin- 
ished shibuichi ground in high relief of shakudo, gold, copper, and silver, 
the artist has pictured the poet Takamura, a well-known scholar of the 
ninth century, who rose from poverty to riches while serving as customs 
house officer for ships trading between Japan and China. His enemies 
reported him to the emperor as an extortioner and thief, and he was 
deported to Yasoshima, a group of small islands off the coast. He is 
said to have composed this song and sung it to the fishing boats as he 
was being carried off: — 

Wada na hara "Oh ! fishers in your little boats, 
Yasoshima kakete Quick ! tell my men, I pray, 

Kogi idcnu to They'll find me at Yasoshima, 

Hito ni wa tsugeyo I'm being rowed away 

Ama no tsuribune. Far off across the bay." 1 

The fuchikashira (Plate XXVI, Fig. 3), likewise signed Yasuchika, 
is the work of one of the nineteenth-century artists of this name. In 
high relief of shakudo with a flat inlaid decoration depicting a silver 
moon over golden pine-trees is an inro with a cord and netsuke of gold 
in calabash form. On the clamp a mouse of copper nibbles a paper 
wrapping (noshi) inlaid in relief of gold within which are two silver 
folding fans. Even to-day, there accompanies all gifts which are pre- 
sented in Japan, a piece of paper folded to a quiver-like form in which is 
inserted a strip of stretched and dried haliotis (awabi) or a thin strip 
of gold paper representing the strip of shell fish. Around this flattened 

1 W. Porter, A Hundred Verses from Old Japan, p. 11. 

92 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

package is tied a red and white paper cord (misuhiki), the whole ar- 
rangement being known as noshi misuhiki. In case one is without the 
materials necessary for carrying out this custom, the donor simply writes 
noshi misuhiki on a slip of paper and encloses it with the gift. F. 
Brinkley 1 states that the awabi has a double meaning, singleness of 
affection typified by the mollusk's single shell and durability of love and 
life, since the dried haliotis is capable of being stretched (the word 
noshi also means "to stretch"). P. Schiller 2 points out the fact that 
this "gift accompaniment" is symbolic of the ancient custom of present- 
ing to pilgrims on their way to Ise, a gift of dried haliotis. Some would 
interpret the noshi misuhiki as the emblem of humility, recalling to 
mind the fact that the founders of Japan were fishermen. 

Several other specimens of the work of the Nara school are included 
in this collection, but a mention of the names of the artists who produced 
them may suffice. Masanaga, a pupil of Toshinaga, the fourth master, 
has signed an interesting iron tsuba, on which two long armed monkeys 
hang from vines inlaid in relief of gold. Munetoshi, another pupil of 
the same artist, has left a landscape executed in relief of various metals 
on a shakudo ground. Toshiyoshi Garyuken, judging from the ornate 
style of the large copper tsuba which bears his signature, was one of 
the nineteenth-century artists of this school. 

One of the most noted pupils of Toshinaga I was Shozui or Masa- 
yuki (1695-1769), who founded a school known as the Hamano, whose 
members created some of the finest objects of metal- work, primarily in 
the form of fittings for the sword. Like those of his master, most of 
Masayuki's designs are taken from the history and folk-lore of the 
country, although he and his followers show great originality, as well in 
the portrayal of nature subjects. He worked in Yedo, using a multitude 
of names which are listed by S. Hara, the most common being Miboku 
and Otsuryuken, both of which appear on specimens in this collection. 

The two readings of the names of the artists of the Hamano School 
have caused confusion, which the list below, copied from the Naunton 
Catalogue, may help to dispel : — 


— Masayuki 


— Nobuyuki 


— Noriyuki 


— Toshiyuki 


— Naoyuki 


— Hiroyuki 


— Nagayuki 


— Yasuyuki 

Hozui — 


1 Japan and China, Vol. VI, p. 38. 

'Japanische Geschenksitten, Mitteilungen der Deutchen Gesellschaft fur 
Natur- und V olkerkunde Ostasiens, Vol. IX, p. 349. 


• ,«%»<«».*%*» 

The Hamano School 93 

Employing a variety of metals, brass, shibuichi, shakudo, copper, and 
iron, Masayuki sometimes worked in very high relief, and again at 
times showed the influence of Joi in his low, recessed reliefs. Both 
these styles are represented in the two tsuba herein illustrated. The 
first (Plate XXVII, Fig. 3) is a remarkable piece of modelling. The 
entire body of this shibuichi guard has been so worked over as to appear 
wax-like in texture and pliability. In flowing lines the artist has sculp- 
tured a rocky retreat above which is floating a silver moon, shedding its 
light upon the winding stream, also in relief of silver, that reflects a glow 
by which the scholar Riuto is enabled to read. Being too poor to pay 
for oil, this Chinese sage was forced to depend upon the heavenly 
luminary for the pursuance of his studies; although garbed in a robe 
of apparent richness (of shakudo with patterns inlaid in gold hira- 
zogan), the face of the figure is that of the self-denying student. 

Fig. 1 in Plate XXVIII reproduces a copper tsuba which is inscribed 
on the reverse side Hamano Masayuki. On the obverse in a more 
delicate style of chiselling we read: gyo nen roku ju ichi ("sixty-one 
years old"), which places the date of this tsuba in the year 1751. This 
last inscription was probably added by a hand later than that of Masa- 
yuki. The pictorial design is brought out in low relief and kebori with 
a very sparing use of gold, such as the cap on the figure at the right and 
the bracelet and eyeball of the demon at the left. 

In the preface to the Kokinshu, a collection of ancient and modern 
poetry, completed in the year 922, Ki no Tsurayuki has used the expres- 
sion that "gods and demons invisible to our eyes are touched with sym- 
pathy by poetry." 1 It is the writer's interpretation that Masayuki on this 
tsuba has taken Kakinomoto Hitomaro, who is known as the saint of 
Japanese verse, to represent the embodiment of poetry as he leans, with 
brush in hand, upon his low writing table and genially watches the 
horned and hairy demon grind his ink for him upon the ink-stone. Both 
figures are continued in engraving and low relief on the reverse side. 
This arrangement of design seems to have been a favorite custom with 
Masayuki, another specimen in this Museum having the fore part of an 
elephant in high relief on the obverse side of the tsuba, while the form 
is completed on the reverse. 

Another portrait of this eighth-century poet Hitomaro (Plate 
XXVIII, Fig. 2) was drawn by Noriyuki I, a pupil of Masayuki. who 
signed his specimens Gaiundo and Bosoken. He worked in Yedo up 
until the time of his death in 1787, and on account of his painstaking 

1 W. Aston, Japanese Literature, p. 64. 

94 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

efforts and skill has left some of the most highly finished products in 
this branch of art. How perfectly has he testified to the well-known 
Chinese and Japanese principle that caligraphy is as truly an art as 
painting, in his exquisite cutting of the poem on this narrow field of 
only a centimeter's width ! The poem is that famous one given in the 
Kokinshu as anonymous, but attributed by critics to both Hitomaro 
and Takamura. A transcription and translation follows : — 

Honobono to Dimly 

Akashi no ura no The coast of Akashi 

Asagiri ni In the morning mist 

Shima kakure yuku Concealed in the distance of sea 

Fune wo shi so omou. Think of the ship. 

A more free version would be, "How sad it is, while I am sailing away 
on the ship, to see the beach of Akashi getting concealed in the dim 
light of the morning mist!" B. Chamberlain 1 and A. Waley 2 have 
each interpreted the poem, translating the word shima-gakure as "island- 
hid." It is an old expression, meaning "things hidden in the distance 
of the sea," and not necessarily denoting any island. Noriyuki has evi- 
dently preferred to attribute the poem to Hitomaro rather than to Taka- 
mura, for he has left in this portrait a typical presentation of the 
sainted old man. 

On the shakudo tsuba (Plate XXVIII, Fig. 3), the same artist has 
depicted with remarkable skill a Mongol standing on the rocks and 
holding a bow from which he has released a feathered arrow. In 
relief of copper with hiraz5gan of silver, a spotted deer stricken 
by the shaft tumbles backwards. The costume, quiver, and bow of the 
hunter are wrought out in fine detail with reliefs of gold, copper, and 
silver, combining to make colorful effect against the dark background. 
The pine which is only suggested in katakiribori on the obverse is com- 
pletely chiselled on the opposite side, where it is the dominating note 
in a simple landscape. The seal of Noriyuki, as inscribed on a small 
shibuichi tsuba decorated with a portrait of Kwan-Yii and his com- 
panions, may be studied in Plate LXI, Fig. 3. 

The shakudo-nanako tsuba in Plate XXIX, Fig. 1, is signed : Miboku 
Nobuyuki Otsuryuken, the name of another pupil of Masayuki or 
Shozui, who used the noms de plume of his master quite freely. The 
nanako is of exact execution and affords an effective ground for the 
high reliefs of various metals in which the artist has told the story of 
Kanzan and Jittoku watching the tiger of Bukan Zenji (p. 63), who 

1 Japanese Poetry, p. 96. 
'Japanese Poetry, p. 55 


.. >y^>»**»**-^^ 

The Hamano School 95 

guards the books of knowledge. These two sages, known in China as 
Hanshin and Shi Tei, are usually represented as boyish figures with 
laughing faces furrowed with age. One carries a scroll often blank, 
signifying the unwritten book of nature. The other is usually seen 
with a besom, the broom of insight, wisdom, and transcendance, to 
brush away worry and trouble. 1 Jittoku is said to have been found by 
Bukan Zenji, who at the time received a divine message, saying that the 
boy was an incarnation of Buddha. Here their flowing hair of shakudo 
falls about their faces which are inlaid in relief of copper. Kanzan 
points towards the crouching tiger whose tense body is modelled in curv- 
ing stripes of gold and shakudo, and whose golden eyes show a fixed 

The pair of shakudo menuki (Plate XXIX, Figs 2A and b) is prob- 
ably the work of Nobuyuki. One is signed with the character "Mi," the 
other with "Boku," together reading Miboku, the artist name of Masa- 
yuki, which was adopted by a number of his followers. These small 
pieces are in the form of a cicada (semi) with closed wings modelled 
with great artistry and an intimate knowledge of nature. 

Noriyoshi of the Nakazawa family should be mentioned as one of 
the talented pupils of Masayuki. Through his efforts and those of 
other eighteenth-century artists, the quality of the work of the Hamano 
School in the nineteenth century likewise calls forth admiration. A pupil 
of Noriyoshi, by name Hisanao, is the author of a beautifully executed 
tsuba of shibuichi on which he has modelled a tiger of shakudo with 
golden stripes, cowering and glaring up toward a swirling cloud from 
which a dragon in gold is emerging. It is as though this beast of the 
heavens had broken through from the reverse of the guard, for on 
that side of the tsuba the writhing tail is disappearing in the rolling 
clouds sculptured in high relief from the ground metal. This is a strik- 
ing presentation of this familiar subject which is the Taoist conception 
of the eternal struggle between matter and spirit, "the ceaseless con- 
flict of material forces with the infinite — the tiger roaring his inces- 
sant challenge to the unknown terror of the spirit." 2 

In the tsuba by Nagayuki (Plate XXIX, Fig. 3) the artist has 
produced the same remarkable effect of the pliability of the shibuichi, as 
was evidenced in that first example of Masayuki (Plate XXVII, Fig. 3). 
This nineteenth-century artist, a pupil of Naoyuki, used the name Kaku- 
yusai with which he has signed this tsuba whereon in relief of copper, 

1 M. Anesaki, Buddhist Art in its Relation to Buddhist Ideals, p. 56. 
* Okakura Kakuzo, Ideals of the East, p. 55. 

96 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

shakudo, and gold, the Chinese sage Rinnasei (Lin Hwo-ching) is lean- 
ing over a blossoming plum-tree and watching a young attendant feed a 

An interesting ceremony practised during the Setsu bun or beginning 
of the natural year when winter softens into spring is that known as 
the tsuina or oni yarai ("demon driving"). At the present day it is 
performed either by the householder or a professional exorciser of 
demons, called yaku otoshi, who wanders through the streets with his 
staff (shakujo) and small stand (sambo) filled with dried peas or beans 
(shiro mame). For a small fee he recites a Buddhist sutra and scat- 
ters the peas into every corner, shouting at the same time, "Demons out, 
good fortune in" (Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi), thus exorcising all evil 
influences from the place. According to Hearn, 1 the "peas" are swept 
up and preserved until the first peal of thunder when they are cooked 
and eaten, each person eating one more than the number of the years 
of his age. W. Aston, 2 on the other hand, in tracing the history of this 
ceremony, specifies the use of beans, which he states were gathered up 
and wrapped in a paper with a small copper coin which had been rubbed 
over the body to transfer the ill luck. These were then thrown away, 
thereby flinging away misfortune. 

After the performance of the oni yarai, there is stuck up at all 
entrances a small charm consisting of the head of a dried sardine 
(iwashi) and a branch of holly (see Plate LV, Fig. 1). Of this the 
demons are said to be afraid, and on that account will not re-enter the 
house. An incident in this ceremony is eloquently told on the kozuka of 
shibuichi (Plate XXIX, Fig. 4) by Chikayuki Ihosai, one of the later 
Hamano artists, who lived in the first half of the nineteenth century. 

Buddhist subjects were often utilized to decorate the swords in the 
nineteenth century ; and an interesting, quadrilobed tsuba by Masaharu 
Genshosai 3 bears upon a dark shibuichi ground carefully sculptured 
the figures of two interesting deities ( Plate XXX, Fig. 1 ) . They are the 
attendants of Acala, known in Japan as Fudo Mio O (Akshara), that 
deity who is identified with the god of wisdom, Dainichi (Vairocana). 
At the top, appearing in the softly sculptured clouds in high relief of 
copper gilt, is Seitaka Doji, the female deity, who in paintings is usually 
colored pink and pictured as holding a lotus, as she does in this repre- 
sentation. Below, emerging as from a rocky cavern, stands Kongara 

1 Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Vol. II, p. 498. 

2 Shinto, p. 308. 

8 This artist is placed among the Hamano in accordance with the views of 
H. Joly rather than among the Tamagawa, according to P. Vautier. 


Doji, a male deity of grim aspect, holding a large iron club. His lower 
garment and floating shoulder draperies are also of gilded copper. He is 
always painted in a strong red color. 

The reverse is carved and inlaid with relief of copper, gold, and silver 
to represent a giant pine with delicate needles overhanging a silver water- 
fall. Acala is generally represented as seated near a waterfall with 
flames surrounding his head. How characteristic of the true artist is 
this motive on the reverse side of the tsuba in its subtle suggestiveness 
of the spirit of the main deity whose attendants appear in full sculp- 
tured form for those who must see in order to believe ! Truly has it 
been said of the Hamano school that it did not give one inferior artist 
to Japan. 

A separate atelier, though a direct branch of the Hamano school, 
was that founded and presided over by Iwama Masayoshi Katsuryuken, 
who was a pupil of Hamano Nobuyuki. On account of his bold, high 
reliefs which were very realistic, he became a leader in his art in the 
nineteenth century; he lived between the years 1763 and 1837. His 
many noms de plume are listed by S. Hara. 1 He often imitated the 
work of Masayuki or Shozui and sometimes signed the pieces executed 
after the manner of that master, Shozui Bo. 

Among his many followers is Nobuyuki, his adopted son, who used 
the name Ichiryuken (for his kakihan, see Plate LXI, Fig. 4). The 
most famous pupil of Masayoshi was Nobuyoshi of the Hata family, 
who, in addition to his many other names, often inscribed his work 
with the honorary title Hogen ("Eye of the Law"). His technique is 
excellent and, though at times his work may be over-decorated, it calls 
forth real admiration. The tsuba (Plate XXX, Fig. 2) combines all of 
the richness of decoration and treatment which was fast tending toward 
ornateness in the middle of the nineteenth century when this guard was 
made. It is inscribed: Nobuyoshi (kakihan) Oite To jo Shinobugaoka 
no yu kan, Kaei ni tsuchi no tori sei wa ("Nobuyoshi of Yedo made 
this amid the peaceful scenery of Shinobugaoka, in the second [rooster] 
year of Kaei"; that is, 1849). O n the reverse side is his seal in the 
form of a koro (see Plate LXI, Fig. 5). Glyptic skill of a very high 
quality is evidenced on this tsuba of sentoku, for the clouds and waves 
are so masterfully sculptured as to seem to have been the creations of 
a blowing storm which has passed over the molten metal. Golden flecks 
of foam drip from the curling crests of the waves, while in the soar- 
ing clouds inlaid bits of gold in imitation of nashiji lacquer accentuate 

1 Die Meister der japanischen Schwertzierathen, p. 80. 

98 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

the sweeping lines of the sky. Nobuyoshi has left upon this small field 
a truly noble portrait of Komei (Chu-ko Liang), the great tactician of 
the Chinese emperor, Chao Lieh Ti, known to the Japanese as Gen- 
toku (p. 114). He is standing on a wind-swept rock overhanging the 
waves; and, holding his two-edged sword upright as in dedication, he 
looks downward toward the stormy sea. In high relief of gold his 
fluttering garments are blown back from his bared feet, and his long 
hair and beard are streaming with the wind. 

The design on the fuchikashira (Plate XXX, Fig. 3), which is also 
by Nobuyoshi, is accomplished in a more restrained vein. The ground 
is a shakudo nanako over which, on the clamp, a scaly serpent in relief 
of silver moves through a clump of blossoms of the wandering jew 
(Commelina, tsuyukusa in Japanese). On the head-piece a small butter- 
fly in relief of gold flies over the head of a praying mantis, an insect 
which is often depicted in Japan and China and one much admired on 
account of its courage and daring. The story as told in a Chinese work 
of second century b.c. is quoted as follows in Laufer's "Jade" (p. 267) : 

"When the Duke Chang of Tsi (794-731 B.C.) once went ahunt- 
ing, there was a mantis raising its feet and seizing the wheel of his 
chariot. He questioned his charioteer as to this insect, who said in 
reply, 'This is a mantis ; it is an insect who knows how to advance, but 
will never know how to retreat ; without measuring its strength, it easily 
offers resistance. The Duke answered, 'Truly, if it were a man it would 
be the champion-hero of the Empire.' Then he turned his chariot to 
dodge it, and this act won him all heroes to go over to his side." 

A most appropriate design is this for the decoration of the sword, 
which though it had by this time developed into an almost purely 
ornamental weapon, was still the embodiment of the samurai spirit. 1 

1 Many interesting inscriptions appropriate for the warrior appeared on 
tsuba and kozuka in this period, as well as on the earlier weapons. These may 
be studied in the scholarly article by H. Joly, Inscriptions on Japanese Sword 
Fittings (Transactions of the Japan Soc, Vol. XV. pp 86-117). 


In contrast to the alloyed fittings of the Kara and Hamano schools 
one sees many tsuba and other fittings of iron, which were likewise made 
in the shogun's capital by certain independent artists, who were con- 
temporaries of the groups discussed in the preceding chapter. The 
work of the ltd masters has already been commented upon, following 
the account of the Umetada family, for the style of these remarkable 
specimens of sukashibori was inaugurated by a Umetada pupil. These, 
as well as Akasaka tsuba, are commonly classed under the name 
"Bushu," which is the Sino- Japanese reading of Musashi, the province 
of which Yedo is the main city. 

That term has been reserved in this study to include tsuba makers 
who worked independently, as far as is known, or those who belonged 
to small groups whose products were not limited to any particular style, 
but which, on the contrary, though almost always of iron, reflect the 
influence of several of the larger schools. 

These guards are generally signed by the artist's name followed by 
the inscription "a dweller in Bushu." Such is true of the tsuba (Plate 
XXXI, Fig. I ) , which is signed Masanori Bushu ju. On studying the 
design, one is again reminded of the Chinese landscapes which inspired 
so many of the metal workers, particularly those in Choshu Province, as 
will be seen in the following pages. 

This artist, Masanori, is not listed either in the So ken Kisho or in 
S. Hara's indispensable record of the makers of sword-fittings, but 
judging from the quality of his work as displayed on this guard, he was 
a skilled craftsman, as well as a man of deep artistic feeling. Having 
so treated the iron as to produce a wax-like patina of dark brown, he has 
chiselled on both sides portions of a landscape in Chinese style which, 
though in monotone, open up vistas of distinct charm. In the fore- 
ground an old gnarled pine clutches with its roots the rocky ground 
whereon the figure of a man, bent with age and leaning on a staff, is 
standing, overlooking an abyss. Above and beyond are the inevitable 
pagoda roofs and the towering mountains with trees hanging from the 
crevices. Many such landscapes appear on Bushu guards. 

While most of the members of the Okada family worked in Choshu, 
Masatoyo dwelt in Yedo in the first half of the nineteenth century and 


ioo Japanese Sword-Mounts 

reflected in his sword-fittings the style of his master Masatsune of the 
ltd family, who sometimes signed his products Jingoro. In low relief 
with slight touches of gold nunome-zogan, the artist has depicted a 
favorite pair of subjects on the tsuba here reproduced (Plate XXXI, 
Figs. 2-3). On the obverse, at the right, is Futen or Fujin (Feng Pe), 
the wind god of imp-like appearance releasing from his large bag a 
tempest which turns into rolling clouds at the left. These are con- 
tinued on the reverse side of the tsuba, where the thunder god, Raiden or 
Kaminari Sama, leaping through rain and lightning flashes, makes 
ready with his sticks to strike the resounding thunder drums. Usually 
eight in number, these drums are decorated with the mitsu-tomoye mo- 
tive and secured to a semi-circular brace which passes behind Raiden's 
shoulders and over his head. Three of the drums may be distinguished 
behind the god's body, which is well modelled, and that of a muscular, 
ferocious demon with fangs. 

The names Nobufusa and Yoshifusa, dwellers of Bushu, are in- 
scribed upon two tsuba, each of which is of iron and in the form of an 
animal. The first artist has modelled a tethered ox in recumbent posi- 
tion, cleverly chased in the round so as to represent on the obverse the 
front view, while on the reverse the under part of the body and the 
legs of the animal are sculptured. A standing horse whose bridle lies 
upon the ground and outlines the lower part of the rim, forms the guard 
signed by Yoshifusa (Plate XXXII, Fig. 1), an unknown artist, so far 
as the records go, and one not to be confused with several other artists 
of this name written with different characters. 

Strongly influenced by Soten of Hikone was one sword-guard maker 
by name Horiguchi Goro, who lived in Hashu, but who travelled to 
Bushu, as we learn from the iron tsuba in this Museum (Plate XXXII, 
Fig. 2). There is a tsuba in the Naunton collection (No. 975), which is 
signed "Horiguchi Genjo," evidently the name of another member of the 
same family. Nothing more can be found regarding these artists. The 
subject depicted on this guard is the famous encounter between Wata- 
nabe and the Oni at Rashomon gate. This tenth-century hero was the 
retainer of Minamoto no Yorimitsu, known as Raiko, the warrior who 
slew the Spider Demon and hosts of ogres and goblins. Thinking that 
his master had banished all of the demons, Watanabe, on hearing of a 
creature which appeared at night on the gate of Rashomon near Kyoto, 
boastingly wrote out a challenge which he signed with his name and 
stuck upon the gate post. There at Rashomon he took his place and 
awaited the visitor. Watching until late in the night, he fell asleep, but 
was soon wakened by a tug at his helmet. Thrusting his sword into the 


--. - .- 


4 »^>-v *"■»-• 

Schools of Choshu ioi 

dark, he struck something, which, with a terrible shriek, hurried away, 
leaving behind a large arm. This he carried away and hid in a strong 
box, never showing it to any one, until one day an old woman, who 
said she was his nurse, begged to see it. As he opened the box, she 
turned into a witch, seized the arm and ran off. The artist has chosen 
that moment when Watanabe wakens and seizes his sword to strike 
the demon which is above on the gate in relief of copper. Watanabe's 
determined face is inlaid in the same metal, while the details of his 
armor are carefully picked out in gold nunome. His frightened horse 
gallops away on the reverse side, where the storm clouds roll above 
the wooden gateway. 

It does not seem necessary to detail further the products of the 
Bushii metal-workers ; for they are many, and their work, while good in 
quality and interesting in subject, is not extraordinary. They were 
strongly influenced in their designs by certain artists in Choshu Prov- 
ince, on the opposite side of the mainland and much to the south of 
Yedo. These men modelled some tsuba of unusual beauty. Particularly 
is this true of those iron guards with black patina which bear upon 
their chiselled surfaces charming landscapes in Chinese style taken from 
paintings of the Sesshii and Kano schools. In this vein did certain 
members of the Okada family work, one of whom, as we have seen, 
migrated to Bushu. 

Established by Nobumasa at the end of the seventeenth century, the 
Okada family, for several generations, dwelt in Hagi in Choshu, having 
come there from Kyoto. A tsuba by Masatomo, one of the later workers 
of this group (Plate XXXII, Fig. 3), illustrates the tendencies of this 
family in the art of metal work. The subject is that of a simple land- 
scape in the foreground of which three horses are grazing in a mountain 
pass. A fourth, sculptured in the same low relief, gallops along the 
water's edge on the reverse side of the guard. A tsuba by Nakahara 
Yukitoshi (1800) is adorned with a landscape in pure Chinese style. 
The unusual surface of this and other Choshu examples was brought out 
by a pickling process which gave to the iron a glowing, black color 
similar to that of the Satsuma tsuba. Many of the Choshu workers 
utilized this method of treating their iron, as is evidenced in certain 
pieces made by members of the Nakai family who are said to have been 
chisellers of sword-furniture as early as the fourteenth century. 

It was in the seventeenth century, however, that Nakai Nobutsune, 
the founder of this school in Choshu, came to Hagi and began to attract 
attention on account of his excellent work. He was followed by Tomo- 
yuki and Tomotsune who perfected a style of chiselling a jour which 

102 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

was carried on by many nineteenth-century artists. Among them was 
Yukimitsu of the Isobe family who used the name Gennojo. From 
black iron he has skillfully sculptured a tsuba (Plate XXXIII, Fig. i) 
in which he has combined a naturalistic design of gourd vines and 
fruits with the formal crest of two famous families. On either side of 
the guard there are two mon in the form of a double flower of five 
petals. This crest is that of the Ota family which was represented by 
daimyo in the provinces Musashi, Dewa, Tamba, and Yamato, from the 
early fifteenth century on. 1 The other crest, a circle with two bars, 
which appears only once on each side of this tsuba, was at one time 
adopted by the Hosokawa family, but is generally associated with that 
of the Narita, daimyo under the Tokugawa shoguns. The origin of 
the design of this crest is interestingly told by T. McClatchie, 2 "The 
founder of this family, so the tale runs, was once engaged in one of 
the frequent wars on the eastern marches of Japan, and his provisions 
having failed, was put to great straits to obtain food, — a battle being 
imminent at the time. Casting his eyes around, he espied in the moun- 
tains a small shrine, and entering this, found laid therein as an offering a 
bowl of rice and a pair of chopsticks. The pangs of hunger overcame 
any religious scruples that Narita may have possessed; he seized the 
bowl and devoured the rice, and refreshed by this timely sustenance, 
went forth and bore himself gallantly in the fight. In it he earned con- 
siderable distinction, and ascribing this to the favor of the deity whose 
shrine he had invaded, he took for his badge the circle and two lines as 
a rough delineation of the rice-bowl and chopsticks." 

The cherry-blossom seems to have inspired certain Choshti artists 
who usually carved it in an informal all-over design with occasional 
spaces of openwork. Tomohisa of the Yamachi family states on a 
tsuba in this collection (Plate XXXIII, Fig. 2) that he was a resident 
of Hagi. He sometimes signed his mounts "Sakunoshin." The guard 
is in the form of an elongated cross with squared corners, and the 
iron is of a soft brown texture. Within the narrow, plain rim are 
full blown cherry-blossoms with stamens tipped with gold relief and 
tight buds finished with kebori. Tsunenaga records on an iron tsuba 
that he was a resident of Hagi. Thereon he has carved in the round 
several blossoms and leaves of the omodaka (Alisma plantago). 

Another design based on a naturalistic motive is treated freely on 
the tsuba of very black iron inscribed with the signature of Toyoaki 

*H. Strohl, Japanisches Wappenbuch, pp. 134-135; and E. Papinot, Diction- 
naire d'histoire et de geographie du Japon, p. 580. 

'Japanese Heraldry (Transactions Asiatic Soc. of Japan, Vol. V, p. 61). 

- » - v.- ^..-. 

Tetsugendo Artists 103 

(Plate XXXIII, Fig. 3). This nineteenth-century artist was the son 
of Tomokata of the Okamoto family. On the reverse of the tsuba is 
incised Shukud hitsu ("from a painting of Shukuo"). After the man- 
ner of some of the Higo guards, this piece is formed by the round 
carving of a gnarled trunk of the plum-tree with budding and blos- 
soming branches finished with surface engraving and inlays of gold in 
the centres of the flowers. 

Much of the low-relief chasing seen in Choshu work is lightened 
with inlay of nunome-zogan, which may have been due to the influence 
of Umetada Myoju who was at this time creating his examples of inlay. 
It more often suggests, however, on account of its broad treatment, the 
work of the Shoami or even that of Soten of Hikone. Particularly is 
this true of the figures which appear on the sword-fittings made by the 
members of the Tetsugendo school which was founded by Okamoto 
Naoshige of Choshu in the eighteenth century. Though he moved to 
Kyoto where he set up his atelier called Tetsugendo ("Hall of the Iron 
Principle"), he is always associated with the Choshu group, since the 
family Okamoto from which he sprang was one of the most famous in 
the whole province. Naoshige used the names Toshiyuki and Shoraku, 
often writing the former in seal characters inlaid in gold. He was fol- 
lowed by a nephew, Xaofusa, who, possessed of considerable talent, did 
not carve the forceful designs which Naoshige sculptured. Hanabusa 
Itcho, the celebrated painter who died in 1724, is said to have influenced 
the designs adopted by Naoshige. Though he painted several nature- 
studies of great beauty, he is particularly famed for his comic drawings, 
and satirical designs which finally were the cause of his banishment. 
There are in this collection two kashira made of brown wax-like iron, 
which may have been taken directly from some of this master's draw- 
ings. Each is in the form of a mask with crooked nose and wrinkled 
brow and with the corners of the toothless mouth drawn down 
(Plate XXXIV, Fig. 1). The skin seems to be that of withered age, 
and apparently hangs in soft folds. This little sculpture is signed 
with the seal, in gold, used by the Tetsugendo artists. 

The same signature is to be seen on the tsuba (Plate XXXIV, 
Fig. 2), decorated with a design which was used over and over again on 
fittings made by this group. This may not be an original work of either 
Naoshige or Naofusa, for their work was much imitated, and this par- 
ticular motive seems to have been the common property of all their fol- 
lowers. 'Whether it is taken from a design of Hanabusa Itcho is not 
known. We do know, however, that a similar storm-picture, included 

104 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

among the paintings owned by the British Museum, is attributed to 
Hanabusa Itcho. 1 On both sides of the tsuba a storm rages, the rain 
falling in slanting lines, the lightning flashing from out the sweeping 
clouds and people everywhere hurrying to shelter. Above the thatched 
roof of the cottage, where four men huddle, may be seen Raiden, the 
thunder god, with four of his drums decorated with the mitsu-tomoye. 
The faces of the people are inlaid in relief of copper and silver, the 
lightning is in relief of gold. 

Executed in the manner of the Tetsugendo school is the unsigned 
fuchikashira of iron (Plate XXXIV, Fig. 3). The sculpturing of the 
brown iron on the fuchi is unusually good. As though done in repousse, 
the writhing form of the eight-headed dragon emerges, scattering the 
golden, foam-flecked waves and angrily looking with flaming eyes be- 
neath shaggy brows toward Suzano-wo who stands on the head-piece. He 
is a heavy set, bearded figure with one hand thrust forward, the other 
behind him gripping his weapon ready to sever the eight heads with 
flaming fangs from the neck of the beast. The details on the hero's 
armor are outlined in gold relief ; his eyes are of gold, in his ear is a 
ring, and on his forehead, a fillet of the same metal. It is not often 
that one finds the dragon truthfully portrayed with all eight heads in 
accordance with the legend as told in the Kojiki (see p. 25). Many 
similar fittings have the dragon, but only two or three heads are visible. 
The subject is naturally a most appropriate one with which to adorn 
the sword, for it will be remembered that after the beheading of the 
beast, Suzano-wo's sword struck something hard in the tail of the dragon ; 
and on cutting it open, he discovered the great double-edged sword 
which is one of the three sacred emblems of Japan. 

'W. Anderson, Cat. of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in the British 
Museum, p. 376. 

QflUJiti iMU$ 

tt\ or III 

• Vi 'iHW. 




Of all the groups of artists who made artistic sword-fittings in the 
late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, none won and held a higher 
reputation than the Yokoya. This school was founded by a pupil of 
the Goto family, by name Yokoya Soyo, an artist whose skill was so 
keenly appreciated by the shogun that he was pensioned for life by the 
generalissimo and came from Kyoto to dwell at the military capital, 
where he worked until his death in 1690. His products are extremely 
rare even in Japan, and may be signed by any of the following names : 
Moritsugu (written in two ways), Morinobu, and Tomokane. He 
made forceful carvings in relief reflecting the Goto style, and also is 
known to have worked in katakiribori. Soyo was followed by four artists 
of his name, who adopted distinguishing noms de plume and different 
kakihan. While many of their tsuba are of admirable quality and 
execution, they are all overshadowed by the beautiful work of Yokoya 
Somin, known as Tomotsune and Tonan, as well as Chojiro in early 
life and Jihei in later years. This artist was an adopted grandson of 
the founder of the school. He died in 1733 at the age of sixty- four. 
In contradistinction to Soyo's exclusive patronage, Somin is said to 
have proudly devoted himself to machi-bori ("street carving") or 
working to general order, though he had inherited the position of chisel- 
ler to the Yedo court. 1 

He, like Soyo, was succeeded by a number of followers and imita- 
tors, many of whom boldly used the names of the two great artists in 
signing work which is obviously inferior either to that of the masters 
or their devoted pupils. Somin remains unexcelled in his chiselling 
in katakiribori , the method of cutting indulged in by Joi and Soyo, but 
never brought to its perfection and full power until Somin took up the 
chisel. A few rare specimens done by him in relief are greatly prized. 
For subjects, he preferred tigers, mythical lions (kara-shishi) , flowers, 
especially the peony, and figures of Hotei, or the demon-queller Shoki. 

On a pair of menuki, of diamond shape, one half gold, the other 
shibuichi (Plate XXXV, Figs, ia and b), the last mentioned favorite 
figure with the accompanying demon is masterfully cut in katakiribori. 

1 F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 274. 

106 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

One of the menuki is signed "Somin" with kakihan. No trace is there 
of an after-stroke of the hammer on the chisel to deepen the lines; all 
seems to have been performed in one unerring effort. The hair and 
features of the hero are limned with the greatest delicacy, and repro- 
duce, as the artist wished, the light strokes drawn by the painter. The 
garment is boldly cut in lines of varying depth suggesting the marks of 
a fully inked brush. It is possible that this design was taken directly 
from a drawing by Hanabusa Itcho, the master of comic representations 
referred to in the preceding chapter; for Somin is known to have 
freely borrowed designs both from him and from Kano Tanyu. 1 Two 
volumes of great interest are mentioned by M. De Tressan, 2 the Somin 
zu shiki and the Soyo zu shiki (designs of Somin and Soyo), which are 
in the Musee Guimet in Paris. From these one would judge that Somin 
confined himself to the decoration of the smaller fittings, especially the 
kozuka — a theory in which Wada concurs, but which Joly does not 
accept. 3 Certain tsuba signed "Somin" are of such extraordinary work- 
manship that they could hardly have been made by any other than this 

One should constantly keep in mind, however, that all work signed 
"Soyo" and "Somin" is not necessarily the product of one of these 
masters. The school is a large one, including forty or fifty pupils, 
among whom are four Soyo and four Somin, all of whom followed 
the style of katakiribori, to a great extent. The tsuba of shibuichi 
(Plate XXXV, Fig. 2) signed "Somin" with kakihan is of particular 
interest on account of its close resemblance to one in the Naunton col- 
lection (Plate LIX, No. 1727). The subject of the design on both 
guards is the legend of Tadamori and the oil thief (p. 88). Both tsuba 
are obviously made from the same design. The Naunton specimen is 
executed in excellent katakiribori, and is ascribed by Joly to the late 
eighteenth or early nineteenth century. The example in this collection 
is thought to be contemporary and, like the former, a product of a pupil 
or close follower of the master craftsman. The kakihan is the same as 
that used by Somin I. 4 Somin III used a distinctly different written 
seal. The use of gold and silver in high relief reflects the influence of 

*Kano Tanyu (1602-74) was the most celebrated artist of his school after 
Motonobu, first painting in the style of Sesshu, and later becoming a master of 

a LE volution de la garde de sabre japonaise {Bull. Soc. Franco-] aponaise, 
Vol. XXV, p. 47)- 

*H. Joly and K. Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 156. 
*Ci. Op. cit., Plate cxxxvn, No. 720. 



The Iwamoto Family 107 

the late Nara school. Very little kebori is used, almost all of the 
design being in relief and inlay. The pine-tree seen here on the left is 
absent in the Naunton specimen. 

Furukawa Genshin, who learned his art from Somin, worked en- 
tirely in the style of chiselling in line. Mitsusada, on the contrary, 
preferred relief, as a typical tsuba by him (Plate XXXV, Fig. 3) illus- 
trates. It is of shibuichi with an ishime surface and decorated solely 
with three well-modelled horses in relief of black shakudo. Mitsusada 
was a pupil of Somin I and lived at Tsu in Ise Province, as he states on 
the right half of the seppa-dai. 

A pupil of Soyo, Iwamoto Chubei by name, in the early eighteenth 
century, organized his own atelier and worked independently with his 
followers in Yedo. Of these the greatest were the two Ryokwan and 
Konkwan Shunshodo, sometimes known as Ryoun or Hakuhotei. The 
last-mentioned lived from 1743 to 1801, and left some remarkable por- 
trayals of animals and figures, which have been extensively imitated. 
Three examples from his chisel may be studied from the illustrations 
on Plate XXXVI. The kozuka (Fig. 1) is of shakudo with a soft 
ishime surface. Upon it in relief of copper is a pipe with silver bowl 
and mouthpiece. At the right is a grasshopper in relief of gold. The 
back of the kozuka is of gilded metal, as is so often the case with like 
pieces by Somin. The two menuki (Figs. 2A and b) are beautiful bits of 
sculpture, each in the form of three flying, chirping sparrows, whose 
natural coloring has been reproduced by combining copper, shakudo, 
shibuichi, and gold. One is signed "Konkwan," the other is inscribed 
with the kakihan only. 

The influence of the Nara and Hamano schools is reflected in the 
tsuba of shibuichi, which is charming in design and admirable in execu- 
tion. The full signature "Iwamoto Konkwan" with kakihan may be 
studied on the reverse side, which is reproduced along with the photo- 
graph of the obverse (Plate XXXVI, Figs. 3 and 4). The design is 
brought out in low relief with lines of fine kebori and reliefs of gold 
and copper. Beneath a full moon is a fox (kitsune) standing on his 
hind legs on the bank of a stream. Having put rushes on his head in 
order to appear as a woman, he gazes contentedly at his reflection in 
the water. On the reverse side of the tsuba, an old wrinkled farmer 
with face of copper leans on a staff behind bundles of rice. The nar- 
row, raised path of the rice-field is indicated in lines of katakiribori. 

Foxes in Japan exercise a remarkable influence over the lower 
classes even to-day. The belief in the magic which they are said to 

io8 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

practise came into the country from China about the tenth century, ac- 
cording to B. Chamberlain 1 and L. Hearn. 2 Each of these authors 
gives astounding accounts of the demoniacal powers which these animals 
exercise over certain people, resulting in a malady called fox possession 
(kitsune-tsuki) , which, according to these and other stories, causes in- 
tense suffering. The greater number of foxes are creatures of evil dis- 
position, given to disguising themselves as women, priests, or animals 
other than their own kind, and thereby tricking their victims in num- 
berless ways. One fox which is an exception to this category is the crea- 
ture known as the messenger of Inari, the god of rice. A pair of 
Inari foxes are always to be seen at the entrance of the temples dedi- 
cated to this god, who is a more modern conception of the deity men- 
tioned in the Kojiki, as the August Spirit of Food (Uka no mi tama no 
mikoto). Not only does the Inari fox represent the protective deity 
of the fields, he also is enabled to cure minor ailments, such as colds and 
coughs, and seems to be a special guardian of the courtesan class in 
certain localities, according to L. Hearn. 3 

The same writer points out the fact that the retainer is now wor- 
shipped more generally than the god. "Originally the fox was sacred 
to Inari only, as the tortoise is still sacred to Kompira; the deer to 
the Great Deity of Kasuga, the rat to Daikoku, the tai fish to Ebisu, 
the white serpent to Benten, or the centipede to Bishamon, god of 
battles. But in the course of centuries the fox usurped divinity. And 
the stone images of him are not the only outward evidences of his cult. 
At the rear of almost every Inari temple you will generally find in the 
wall of the shrine building, one or two feet above the ground, an aper- 
ture about eight inches in diameter and perfectly circular. It is often 
made so as to be closed at will by a sliding plank. This circular orifice 
is a fox hole, and if you find one open and look within, you will prob- 
ably see offerings of tofu or other food which foxes are supposed to be 
fond of. You will also, most likely, find grains of rice scattered on 
some little projection of woodwork below or near the hole, or placed on 
the edge of the hole itself ; and you may see some peasant clap his 
hands before the hole, utter some little prayer, and swallow a grain or 
two of that rice, in the belief that it will either cure or prevent sickness." 4 

L. Hearn reproduces a most interesting letter from Hideyoshi writ- 
ten to Inari, the rice god, begging for the release of one of his servants, 

things Japanese, 5th ed., pp. 115-119. 
'Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, pp. 317-342. 
*Op. cit., pp. 3I3-3I5- 
*Op. cit., p. 316. 

The Yanagawa School 109 

who has been bewitched by a fox. This and other cited incidents show 
that the worship of Inari by the military class was quite a common prac- 
tice. All samurai families were believed by the peasants to be the 
possessors of foxes; and Matsudaira, the daimyo of Izumo Province, 
was supposed to be the owner of a great number. Stories in that 
province are still commonly told regarding the power of foxes. There 
are to be seen in the gardens of almost every old clan (shisoku) resi- 
dence in Matsue a small shrine of Inari Daimyojin with little stone foxes 
seated before it. 1 The appearance of the fox on sword-fittings is not 
at all uncommon, as is illustrated on other specimens on succeeding plates. 

Another offshoot from the Yokoya school is that of the Yanagawa 
which was founded by a pupil of Soyo I, named Masatsugu, in the early 
eighteenth century. This school is principally known through the work 
of Naomasa (1691-1757), who studied under Somin and used the 
names Soyen and Soryu. Though most of his sword-fittings are 
chiselled in relief, he also is known to have used katakiribori most ef- 
fectively. He shows a strong Yokoya influence in his choice of sub- 
jects, preferring above all others the peony and kara-shishi. These de- 
signs are generally inlaid in a medium relief of gold and silver on a 
nanako ground. Naoharu, a pupil, followed him very closely in his 
methods and designs, and developed a technical excellence which make 
his tsuba pieces of rare beauty. Adopted as a son by Naomasa, he con- 
tinued to work in Yedo, though he concentrated most of his attention 
and skill on fittings for Yoshida, daimyo of the province of Mikawa. 
He often signed his pieces "Seiunsha and Onkokwan." The tsuba (Plate 
XXXVII, Fig. 1) which is inscribed "Yanagawa Naoharu" is of shaku- 
do nanako and adorned with reliefs of copper, silver, and gold, depict- 
ing a kara-shishi beneath a waterfall near a clump of peony (botan). 

The most familiar form of lion in Japanese art is that copied from 
the conventionalized animal introduced into China with Buddhism, not 
the older and more natural type to be seen on objects of bronze and 
jade of the Han dynasty. 2 It is called kara-shishi ("Chinese lion"), 
koma-inu ("Korean dog"), or dog of Fo (Fo meaning "the Buddha"). 
With grinning face, a head surrounded by curling locks parted in the 
middle, and flame-like tail of curls, he is to be seen before Buddhist 
temples as guardian and symbol of divine protection. Very often he is 
represented with the peony, an emblem of regal power and king of 
the plants. This association is known as botan ni kara-shishi. Again, 

Hjlimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, p. 320. 

*Th'e development of the lion design is worked out in detail by B. Laufer 
(Chinese Pottery of the Han Dynasty, pp. 236-247). 

no Japanese S word-Mounts 

the lion is depicted with a sacred jewel in his mouth, the jewel being a 
symbol of Buddha. Sometimes he is portrayed near a waterfall or 
throwing his progeny over a rocky cliff to test the vitality of the young 
animals. From the days of the early Goto masters the kara-shishi was 
a favorite subject for sword-fittings. 

The fuchikashira (Plate XXXVII, Fig. 2) is the work of Nao- 
mitsu, a pupil of Naomasa, who lived to be seventy-six years of age, 
dying in 1809 in Yedo. Preferring to work in relief, he was evidently 
attracted by the methods of the Omori artists whose sculptured waves 
are suggested upon each of these small pieces. Over the ground, which 
is shakudo-nanako, small sanderling (chidori) fly over the shining claw- 
like crests from which silver flecks of foam are flung. The birds are 
in relief of gold and shibuichi, and are finished with delicate lines of 
surface carving. 

Seiansha is the name inscribed upon the kashira (Plate XXXVII, 
Fig. 3) of shakudo, which is associated on the same plate with these 
examples of the Yanagawa family. This name suggests that which 
was adopted by Naoharu, though it is written with distinctly different 
characters. What the true name of the artist was who made this piece is 
not known, but it is my opinion that, if not one of the Yanagawa them- 
selves, he was at least one who came under their influence. The deco- 
ration may have a familiar aspect to students of sword-fittings on 
account of its remarkable resemblance to the design on the well-known 
kozuka by Haruaki Hogen, the famous pupil of Yanagawa Naoharu, 
whose work will be discussed below. 1 Each of these objects is adorned 
with a most skillful bit of relief in different colors known as iroye, 
("colored picture"), a combination of alloys whose varying shades and 
patina are developed under the influence of a pickling solution of 
boiling acid. On this kashira the main portion of the relief has been 
executed in repousse, and is not a separate, complete piece soldered on 
to the ground. 

One of the Shichifukujin, — Fukurokuju, the god of prosperity, 
happiness, and long life, as his name reads, — has been chosen as the 
motive of the decoration. He is riding on the emblem of longevity, 
the crane whose red crest is inlaid in copper. The god, who is said to 
be a re-incarnation of Lao-tse and again the spirit of the south pole star, 
the star of longevity, 2 is seated with one hand on his knee, the other 

1 For a reproduction of the kozuka referred to, cf . H. Joly, Japanese Sword 
Fittings in the Naunton Collection, Plate Lxvi, No. 2180. 

3 F. Dickens, Seven Gods of Happiness (Transactions Asiatic Soc. Japan, 
Vol. VIII, p. 461). 



The Sano Family hi 

grasping a spray of plum, one of the three plants denoting long life; 
the others being the pine and bamboo which, with the plum, form the 
shochikubai. Fukurokuju has a very high forehead which in this case 
is partly covered by a golden cloth. His wrinkled brow and extremely 
long eyebrows and beard give him the aspect of an aged man. The 
tools employed to inlay in gold and silver the brocade pattern on the 
shakudo robe, must have been of needle-like size and form, for the out- 
line is scarcely the width of a hair. 

From the point of view of technique, the artists of the Yanagawa 
family were unsurpassed. The excellence of their work continued to 
be upheld by a group which was founded by a pupil of Yanagawa Nao- 
nori, named Sano Naoyoshi. Working in Yedo, mainly for the daimyo 
Akimoto of Kozuke Province, in the second half of the eighteenth 
century, he produced sword-fittings both in iron and the alloys, using 
formal decorations, as well as elaborate ones, sometimes adorned with 
reliefs of semi-precious stones. The small tsuba (Plate XXXVII, Fig. 4) 
is a beautiful example of his handicraft. The field is of shibuichi, 
which has been subjected to a chemical treatment that has produced a 
soft gray color with a silky patina. The only decoration consists of a 
sprig of persimmon (kaki) inlaid in a relief of dark blue shakudo with 
leaves lightened by golden veinings. The fruit itself is a rounded 
carving of deep pink coral. Consistent with this simple elegance, the 
reverse is plain, save for two leaves in relief of shakudo. 

A son, named Naoteru, followed the first artist of the Sano family in 
the making of fittings of refinement and quality. On Plate XXXVIII, 
Figs. 1 and 2, there is a pair of tsuba which were chiselled by 
him, and which were likely made for some daimyo to wear on his 
dai-sho on dress occasions. They are of shakudo with nanako grounds 
accomplished with extreme exactitude. At the top of each of these 
tsuba, inlaid in relief of various metals, are the most popular emblems of 
longevity, the crane and the tortoise. As in China, so in Japan, the 
crane (tsuru) is thought to live to a fabulous age and to be the 
winged bearer of many of the immortals. One sees the crane con- 
stantly appearing on objects of daily use, such as lacquer, pottery, in 
kakemono, and most significantly in the ceremonial arrangement at 
New Year's, where it stands with the tortoise at the foot of the shochiku- 
bai as a wish for a long life. In the older paintings the crane is colored 
white with black plumage on back and tail, and with a crimson patch 
upon its head. Silver has been utilized on this tsuba to represent the 
delicately chased feathers on the tail and back issuing from the shibuichi 

ii2 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

body. A bright red copper inlay on the head completes this representa- 
tion which is not purely classical, but nevertheless most decorative. 

Equally skillful is the sculpturing of the tortoise (kame) of the 
mythological species, known as minogame on account of the flowing 
hairy tail which suggests the rain coat (mino) of the peasant. Accord- 
ing to tradition, this tortoise of a thousand years of age has the head 
of a dragon with scales upon its neck and legs. It is one of the four 
supernatural animals of Chinese mythology, being associated in that 
country with the tiger, dragon, and phoenix. As an emblem of longevity 
it is constantly pictured at the side of Fukurokuju and other legendary 
patriarchs, such as the aged couple of Takasago whose miniature fig- 
ures typify the spirit of a long and happy married life in the wedding 
arrangement called shimadai. 

As in the case of the crane on the larger tsuba the back of the 
tortoise is to be seen on the reverse side of the smaller guard, where 
the flowing tail covers the entire upper portion. This long mossy ap- 
pendage is realistically inlaid in relief of shibuichi of a greenish gray 
tone; the shell also is shibuichi of a darker shade with delicate inlay 
of gold nunome-zogan on the edge. The head and legs are covered with 
scales so skillfully carved as to appear overlapping and movable. 

Before departing from the history of the Yanagawa family, one 
more group must be mentioned which, like the preceding one, was 
organized by a Yanagawa pupil. Inagawa Naokatsu lived from 1719 
to 1 76 1 and worked in Yedo along with the greater number of metal 
craftsmen who supplied the daimyo with sword-fittings during their 
annual visits to the capital. Naokatsu does not seem to have had a large 
following, Shigekatsu and Yoshikatsu being the names most frequently 
met with among his pupils. The shibuichi tsuba (Plate XXXVIII, 
Fig. 3) is signed "Inagawa Shigehisa," — a name unknown in the 
records, but evidently that borne by a craftsman of considerable skill. 
The subject, a Ni-6, has been met with before (p. 65). In some respects 
this artist seems to have been influenced by Joi, for he has sculptured his 
figure in a recessed relief. Details of the hair are brought out in 
katakiribori after the Yokoya manner; and the inlaid reliefs, such as 
the golden eyeballs, reflect the style followed by many of the eighteenth- 
century artists who were constantly adopting from one another designs 
and methods of decoration. 




As the demand for ornamental sword-fittings continued to increase 
from the middle of the seventeenth century on, there were constantly 
springing into being new groups of artists who branched off from their 
parent schools and formed their own clientele. About the year 1700, 
Omori Shirobei, a fencing master in the province of Sagami, began to 
make fittings for the sword. From whom he learned his art, we do 
not know, but his son Shigemitsu, known as the first Omori master, 
studied with Masayoshi Ichirobei and Yasuchika of the Nara group. 
Dying at an early age in 1726, this artist left a limited number of 
tsuba which, for the most part, are executed in the Nara style. 

Terumasa (1704-72), the second well-known member of the Omori 
school, was a grand-nephew of Shigemitsu and studied with Yokoya 
Somin and Yanagawa Naomasa. The reliefs of the latter apparently 
influenced Terumasa more than the katakiribori of Somin. He is not a 
great artist, and this fact likely explains his choice of the less difficult 
method of decorating his products. 

The greatest artist of the Omori family proves to be Terumasa's 
nephew and adopted son, Teruhide Ittosai (1729-98), whose excelling 
skill will be readily recognized if one compares the two tsuba of Teru- 
hide with the guard made by the teacher Terumasa all of which are 
reproduced on Plate XXXIX. The older master produced excellent 
nanako, as may be seen on this shakudo tsuba (Fig. 1), but his figures 
are clumsy, and the whole composition is lacking in balance and grace. 
The reliefs are quite bizarre, especially the large patch of gilded copper 
from which the house at the left has been sculptured. Though the cos- 
tumes on the figures are worked out in detail and the expressive faces 
in relief of copper are interesting bits of portraiture, the tsuba is not a 
successful work of art. 

The love of the heroic deeds of the brave men of China and Japan, 
and the universal familiarity of the samurai with these stories, explain 
their frequent appearance on the mountings of the weapon dearest to 
the warrior's heart. One of the most popular stories of Chinese history 
is told by Terumasa on this guard. 

, Kanshin or Han Sin was the grandson of a prince of Han, and is 
known as one of the three heroes of Han, being usually associated with 
Ch'eng Ping and Chang Liang. Through family reverses he was reduced 
to such poverty that he was compelled to earn his living by fishing in the 


MnfBtSTTY »F U.i%tS Hi 

. -.^,<-^. 

The Omori School 115 

cutting in places to the depth of 2 mm. The entire surface of this tsuba 
of shibuichi is covered with tumbling crests, overlapping the edges and 
flinging off drops of golden spray. On either side carefully carved re- 
liefs of corals, fishes, and squid are inlaid in various metals. On the ob- 
verse may be identified the "swell-fish" (Tetrodon, fugu in Japanese) 
with shakudo back and silver belly; the plaice (hirame) is in silver, 
spotted with inlays of shakudo; and the sea-bream (tai), the king of 
fishes and emblem of good fortune, is chiselled in fine detail from red- 
dish gold. , 

Teruhide had numerous pupils, but none evolved a more independ- 
ent style than Terutomo or Hidetomo, who studied with him at the end 
of the eighteenth century. In certain instances he followed his master 
closely, often carving from shibuichi a flight of birds above breaking 
waves in much the same style as his teacher. In the tsuba (Plate XL, 
Fig. 1) he manifests an unusual genius in depicting animals in a bold 
and sculpturesque manner. He has so treated the iron of his guard 
as to produce a patina of soft chocolate brown color. He has carved 
in the round two galloping ponies with flowing tails; the manes, and 
eyes inlaid in gold. Here and there over the bodies he has chased small 
patches of kebori to suggest the soft hair of the animal's coat. Bold, 
broad cuttings indicate the more pronounced lines of the body, while 
the coarse hair of tail and mane are chiselled with a flowing freedom. 

Quite as admirable from the point of view of technique is the 
shakudo fuchikashira signed by the same artist (Plate XL, Fig. 2). Re- 
flecting the more formal beauty of the Goto school, Hidetomo has chosen 
the plum (ume) with its silver blossoms shining star-like against the 
blue black background and the gnarled trunk of dark green shibuichi. 
Mary Fenollosa has made an eloquent plea that we give to the ume 
its full portion of poetic significance. 1 Countless classic verses of 
China and Japan, as well as the more modern poems on surimono, have 
told us that the plum is the herald of the new year, the companion of 
the nightingale, the emblem of long life and good fortune, as it bursts 
its rose-tipped buds amid the driving snowflakes. While the pine sym- 
bolizes longevity, endurance, loyalty, and masculine strength, the plum 
typifies the feminine virtues of sweetness and chastity. 

During the luxurious days of peace under the Tokugawa shoguns, 
many of the military men in their leisure moments indulged in the pleas- 
ures of artistic production, and on many sword-fittings of excellent 
quality we find the names of certain daimyd and samurai. Teruhide 

^he Ume or Plum Flower {Craftsman, Vol. IX, 1907, pp. 405-421). 

n6 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

had as a pupil a retainer of the daimyo of Mito, by name Hisanori, who 
was a renowned dilettante, living in the second half of the eighteenth 
century in Yedo. He possessed considerable skill and artistic feeling, 
as is evidenced on two fuchikashira of shakudo in this collection. One 
which is reproduced on Plate XL, Fig. 3, is interesting both on account 
of its technique and originality of design. In relief of gold, shibuichi, 
and a little copper, there stands on the clamp a sculptured peacock (ku- 
jaku) boldly raising his crested head above the rim of the clamp. On 
the head-piece the companion peahen is inlaid in the same metals 
which reproduce to a considerable degree the gorgeous natural colorings 
of the fowls. Except in early Buddhistic sculpture and paintings, where 
the peacock is represented as the heavenly mount of Maya, mother of 
Buddha, or occasionally in later work accompanying the goddess Benten, 
this bird has no particular significance, and is pictured primarily on 
account of its adaptability to a richness of decoration. 

Another samurai who made sword-fittings was Tomomasa, the re- 
tainer of the daimyo of Miyatsu in the province of Tango. He worked 
under Hidetomo in the early nineteenth century. The tsuba in this 
collection reflects his master's preference for the sterner medium, being 
as it is an iron guard simply adorned with a silver heron standing on a 
weather-worn bridge-post. 

In the early nineteenth century the Omori family had a worthy rep- 
resentative in the artist Mitsutoki, who had received his training under 
Terumitsu, a pupil of Teruhide. He is the maker of the shibuichi tsuba 
(Plate XL, Fig. 4). Using a pickling process to produce a light green 
patina, he has effectively inlaid in relief of shibuichi and gold, tall sprays 
of the bamboo around which sparrows in relief of copper are flying. 

The bamboo (take or chiku) , being evergreen, is used in conjunc- 
tion with the pine and plum in the shochikubai, where it is emblematic 
of longevity. In combination with the pair of pine-trees at the door 
(kado matsu), on New Year's day, it has this same significance. It is 
commonly called the symbol of uprightness. Through one of those 
humorous quirks of the oriental mind, ever loving a double meaning, 
the bamboo has come to stand for constancy and fidelity, since there are 
two Chinese characters each of which is pronounced setsu; one meaning 
"constancy"; the other, the "node" or "joint of the bamboo." The 
bamboo pressed to earth with the load of snow is also significant of 
constancy and endurance, as is illustrated by the well-known proverb, 
"The snow-covered bamboo bends, but never breaks" (take ni yuki 
ore nashi). , 


Bf UlWS U 




The Ishiguro School 117 

The association of the sparrow and the bamboo (take m susume), 
the motive of the decoration on Mitsutoki's tsuba, is a common one, and 
is symbolic of gentleness and friendship, since the bird seeks out this 
plant whose graceful branches yield to its weight. 

In the study of eighteenth and nineteenth-century examples of sword- 
fittings one is inclined to be carried away by his delight in the pictorial 
appeal of the products rather than by the artistry evidenced in the work- 
ing of the metals. The fittings made by the members of the Ishiguro 
school, which was founded by Masatsune Togakushi or Jukokusai 
(1759-1828), a pupil of Kato Naotsune, of the Yanagawa school, are 
generally such decorative pieces that the technical excellence is apt to 
be disregarded or rather taken for granted, as one concentrates his at- 
tention upon the meaning of the design. The tsuba and other orna- 
ments made by these artists are typical of the elegance of the samurai 
of the early nineteenth century who, living in peace and luxury, de- 
lighted in the products of these masters whose work has been compared 
quite deservedly with that of the world's famous jewelers. Some of 
the bird and flower decorations for which they showed a marked pref- 
erence are marvels of iroye work. 

The tsuba of shibuichi by Masayoshi (Plate XLI, Fig. 1) is as 
vibrant and subtle in color as though the artist has been working with 
a painter's palette and pliant brush rather than with the stubborn and 
forbidding mediums of metal and chisel. This early nineteenth-century 
master who studied under Naoyoshi of the Sano school and Masatsune I 
of the Ishiguro family, has reproduced on this small field, with techni- 
cal perfection, a picture glowing with the color and beauty of spring in 
its exuberance. The fully blown cherry-blossoms are sculptured in 
silver and gold with tiny golden stamens. The leaves of green shibuichi 
and a light greenish gold are notched and veined with a fine delicacy of 
touch. Clinging to the branches of the tree and hovering over the 
silver peonies are birds in relief of gold of different shades with breasts 
inlaid in copper. The "painting" of the pheasants' feathers is the most 
skillful bit of glyptic art on this wholly admirable piece. The crests 
and necks are for the most part of gold, the breasts are of copper flecked 
with gold, and the tail-feathers are of shakudo spotted with flatly inlaid 
touches of copper. The reverse is quite as beautiful as the obverse, 
being adorned with a graceful arrangement of flowering Hibiscus 
(fusoka) and Lespedeza (hagi), over which three birds and a butterfly 
are winging. 

The first Masatsune (1759- 1828), unfortunately, is not represented 

u8 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

in this collection. His designs were generally based on flower and bird 
motives, though he sometimes depicted human figures. His son Masa- 
tsune II, known also as Masamori Moritsune and Jucho, has left some 
excellent examples of sculpturing, oftentimes using the lobster (ebi) as 
a theme of decoration. On the shakudo fuchikashira (Plate XLI, Fig.2) 
made by him, in high relief of gold, there is on the headpiece a 
large spiny lobster with bead-like eyes of shakudo. In this case it is 
evidently a part of the New Year's decoration, more of which appears 
on the accompanying clamp. On account of its bent back, the ebi has 
been adopted as the symbol for extreme old age, and therefore makes 
an appropriate appearance as a wish for long life on the small stand 
(sambo) which holds the New Year's arrangement to be seen in almost 
all Japanese houses even to-day on this important occasion. 1 Occasion- 
ally the lobster is attached to the straw rope (shimenazva) , which is 
stretched before the entrance at the front of the house to remain during 
the celebration of this festival. Smaller shimenawa may be seen over 
inner doorways. The origin of this custom is thought to reach back to 
the mythological days recounted in the Kojiki when Amaterasu, the Sun 
Goddess, being tempted forth from the cave into which she had retired, 
was prevented from returning therein by the deity Futo tama no mikoto, 
who stretched the rope made of twisted straw across the opening of the 
retreat. 2 The shimenawa is faithfully portrayed here in relief of gold, 
silver, and shibuichi. It is always made of straw twisted to the left 
(the pure or fortunate side) with pendant straws at regular intervals, 
but of differing numbers in the order, three, five, seven, three, five, 
seven, along the whole length of the strand. Alternating with these 
pendants are the paper cuttings known as gohei, strips of paper repre- 
senting offerings of cloth in ancient times to the gods. 3 Beside the 
gohei there are leaves of the fern (Poly podium dicotomon) known as 
moromoki or urajiro in Japan. Since the fronds spring in pairs from 
the stem, this plant is symbolic of happy married life and increase. The 
small oval leaf which is often seen attached to the shimenawa is that of 

*For a full enumeration and explanation of the objects making up the sambo 
arrangement, cf. L. Hearn, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Vol. II, p. 497. 

J B. Chamberlain, Kojiki, p. 59. At Futami on the Owari Bay there are 
two rocks known as the Myoto seki ("Wife and Husband Rocks") from which 
is suspended a shimenawa said by some to represent the bond of conjugal union, 
by others to be a protection against the entrance of the Plague God. The fact, 
however, that to this day journeys are made to this place on New Year's 
morning before dawn in order to see the sun rise between the two rocks, thereby 
welcoming Amaterasu's return to the earth, points to a distinct survival in pure 
form of the legend referred to above, which in turn may be a primitive explana- 
tion of a solar eclipse that occurred in the early days of Japan's history. 

*Op. cit., p. 57. 

The Ishiguro School 119 

the Daphniphillum macropodum, known as yusuruha, whose old leaves 
remain after the young ones have sprouted, happily adopted in this con- 
nection as the emblem of a long united family. 1 

These objects referring to popular festivals commonly appear on the 
sword-fittings of the peaceful Tokuwaga period, for since the sword was 
seldom used in organized fighting, every decorative motive was utilized 
to adorn its mounts and thereby add to the elegant costume worn by the 
daimyo and their retainers. 

As has been observed before, Buddhist subjects were not uncommon. 
A beautifully modelled figure of one of the most popular deities in Japan 
decorates the tsuba (Plate XLI, Fig. 3), which is the work of another 
pupil of Masatsune I. Masahiro, who excelled in the modelling of fig- 
ures, signed his fittings with the following adopted names : Gantoshi, 
Keiho, Koryusha, Kakujusai, and Katsutoshi. The two last-mentioned 
are incised upon this guard of shibuichi on which he has demonstrated 
the high quality of his work. As though stirring the molten metal, the 
artist has sculptured, across the upper portion of the tsuba, lightly roll- 
ing clouds. At the right, seated on a rock, dotted with golden bamboo 
sprouts, is the divinity whose worship in Japan almost outrivals that 
of Amida. The Bodhisattva Kwan-non or Kwan-yin, in Sanskrit Avalo- 
kitegvara, is known as the goddess of mercy, being represented in many 
forms, eight of which are quite common. 2 In this representation the 
deity is contemplating a leafless branch of willow set up in a holy- water 
bottle inlaid in relief of gold and poised on a rock carved from shakudo, 
The figure which is full of grace and repose stands out in high relief 
against a halo inlaid in flecks of gold imitating nashiji lacquer. The 
calm face is in relief of silver, the flowing hair, almost hidden by the 
golden head and shoulder drape, is sculptured from shakudo, and under 
the magnifying glass proves to be worked out in fine detail with kebori 
lines. A gold necklace with three pendants adorns the bare breast. On 
the reverse, beneath rolling clouds, a waterfall inlaid in silver breaks into 
curling waves over a rugged rock of shakudo. 

Though said to be the spiritual son of Amida, Kwan-non is generally 
represented as this gentle feminine figure. "This incongruity is probably 
explained by the theories advanced by the Chinese that Kwan-yin is of 
native origin, and was originally the daughter of a king of the Chou 

'Very often other objects of equally interesting significance are added to 
the shimenaiva. For details, see L. Hearn, Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, 
Vol. II, p. 496 and F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VI, p. 36. 

1 W. Anderson, Cat. of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in the British 
Museum, pp. 64-65. 

120 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

dynasty (696 B.C.), a date preceding the introduction of Buddhism from 
India. It is told that she was sentenced to death by her father for re- 
fusing to marry, but the executioner's sword broke without harming her. 
Her spirit went to Hell, but Hell changed to Paradise, and the king of 
the infernal regions, to preserve the proprieties of his realm, sent her 
back to life, when she was miraculously transported on a lotus flower to 
the island of P'u-t'o. 1 

A second product from the chisel of Masahiro, which is signed 
with the signature "Kakujusai" and seal inlaid in gold, is added on 
Plate XLII, Figs. 1-2, to illustrate further this artist's mastery of tech- 
nique. It may be also of interest to compare his treatment of the familiar 
subject of Tadamori and the priest with the interpretation presented by 
Jowa (Plate XXV, Fig. 3) and Somin III (Plate XXXV, Fig. 2). The 
inlaid figures in the brocade, and the slanting lines of rain in gold relief, 
flash out from the dark background of shibuichi. The body of the priest 
is a striking piece of sculpture from copper. His robe which is being 
torn from his form is of shakudo. On the reverse the artist has inlaid 
in high relief of shakudo a beautiful temple-lantern standing close to a 
gnarled tree with leaves of three different shades of gold. 2 

Four of the most prominent Ishiguro artists in the middle of the 
nineteenth century were Masaaki I and II, Masatsune III, and Yoshi- 
nari of the Ogawa family. The shakudo fuchikashira (Plate XLII, 
Fig. 3) decorated with peonies and butterflies in gold relief is the work 
of Masatsune III. The tsuba (Fig. 4) on the same plate of light 
gray shibuichi is signed "Yoshinari, kakihan, Seiryuken ;" the last is an 
adopted name hitherto unnoted in the records. The design, which is 
executed wth extreme dexterity, recalls the popular festival celebrated 
on the seventh day of the seventh month and known as the Tanabata 
Matsuri. It is one of the most poetic celebrations in the Japanese 
calendar and symbolizes the meeting of the Weaving Maiden and the 
Oxherd, spirits of a star in Lyra and a star in Aquila, who cross the 
Milky Way or River of Heaven on this night if the weather is fair. 
Borrowed as it was from China, there are several versions of this 
romantic story, many of which are poetically recounted in an exhaustive 
study of the subject by L. Hearn. 3 He mentions the fact that "it was 

'W. Anderson, Cat. of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in the British 
Museum, p. 64. This Chou date is purely fictional. The adjustment of the 
heroine of this Taoist legend with the Buddhist deity Avalokitecvara is one of 
comparatively recent date. 

'Cf. sketch by Hokusai reproduced by L. Gonse (L'Art japonaise, Vol. II, 
p. 309). 

"Romance of the Milky Way, pp. 3-49. 



The Ishiguro School 121 

not until the Tokugawa period that the Tanabata festival became a 
national holiday, and the popular custom of attaching tansaku (longi- 
lateral strips of finely tinted paper for the writing of poems) of differ- 
ent colors to freshly cut bamboo, in celebration of the occasion, dates 
only from the era of Bunsei (1818)." 1 The ceremony had been indulged 
in with great elaboration among the courtiers since a.d. 775; some of 
the most beautiful of the poems contained in the Manyoshu (ninth cen- 
tury) being those which treat of the Tanabata festival. 

After the popularization of this celebration, it became customary 
to use tansaku of five colors : blue, red, yellow, green, and white, the five 
colors said to be seen burning in the two stars when the meeting occurs. 
Over the little peasant-hut pictured on the tsuba by Yoshinari, one can 
distinguish these shades inlaid in relief of the five differently colored 
metals, — shakudo, copper, gold, shibuichi, and silver, with tiny markings 
incised upon them, and suggestive of writing. The poem-papers are 
attached to two sprays of bamboo with leaves of gold, which have been 
thrust into the thatched roof. 

*L. Hearn, Romance of the Milky Way, p. 19. 




In 1 719, in Kyoto, was born one of the finest chasers of Japanese 
metal-work, Nagatsune, who was the founder of the Ichinomiya School. 
At first apprenticed to a metal gilder, he later became a pupil of Taka- 
naga (Yasui) and Furukawa Yoshinaga. His early work is signed 
"Setsuzan." Not only was he a very clever tsuba maker and producer of 
the smaller sword-fittings, but he also was a painter, having studied 
under Maruyama Okyo and Ishida Yiitei. 1 He evidently did not expend 
all of his skill in glyptic art on sword-mounts, for G. Jacoby, H. Joly, 
and S. Hara all mention a cover which he made for a brazier (shuro) 
sent by the daimyo of Tsuchima to the king of Korea, who in turn 
offered it to K'ien-lung, the Chinese emperor. 

Nagatsune, whose ancestry can be traced directly back to Goto Kojo, 
sometimes used the name Ganshoshi. He was awarded by the Kyoto 
court with the title Echizen no Daijo ("feudal chief of Echizen"), which 
he has inscribed on two pieces in this collection. Dying in 1786, he left 
several pupils, of only mediocre ability, among them Nagayoshi, his 
own son, who signed himself Gikoshi Kenryiishi ; and Tsunenao Kiubei. 
Both of these artists lived in Kyoto in the late eighteenth century. A 
copper tsuba by Tsunenao in this collection. He has sculptured upon 
it, in low relief, an ox moving toward a winding stream beneath a plum- 
tree whose blossoms are inlaid in silver hirazogan (see Plate LXI, 
Fig. 6 for kakihan). A shakudo-nanako tsuba signed "Nagayoshi 
Gikoshi" is decorated with a cock, hen and chickens in relief of copper, 
gold, and silver. 

Nagatsune worked both in line and in relief. His skill in the cut- 
ting of katakiribori is thought by many to equal that of Somin I. On 
Plate XLIII are two tsuba both of which are of shibuichi decorated with 
well-rounded reliefs of various metals. The first (Fig. 1), probably an 
early work of the master, is signed in cursive "Nagatsune," with kaki- 
han. The entire design on obverse and reverse is that picture of family 

*Maruyama Okyo (1733-95), the founder of the Shijo naturalistic school, 
studied under Ishida Yiitei, and first followed the rules of the old masters, but 
soon invented a new style in which he painted from nature, flowers, fishes, insects, 
and animals, as well as landscape and figure pieces. He won great favor in his 
day, and even influenced many of the older schools which heretofore had taken 
their inspiration from the ancients. 


The Ichinomiya School 123 

life, the cock, hen, and chicks, so often painted by artists of the Shijo 
school. Black shakudo forms the carefully sculptured neck and tail- 
feathers of the cock, while the comb is of copper, and the breast of 
shakudo with gold inlay. The hen and chicks are carved of shakudo 
and gold. The name Minamoto is inscribed on the other tsuba (Fig. 2), 
in combination with Echizen no Dai jo Nagatsune. S. Hara does not 
mention the fact that this artist bore the noble name of Minamoto, but 
many examples in well-known collections are so signed. The scene 
depicted on this guard is that of a fisherman standing in a stream draw- 
ing in his net which is of shakudo. Above, over golden bamboo sprays, 
fly two geese inlaid in relief of the dark blue metal, with bills and feet 
of gold. The body of the fisherman is carved from copper with the 
finest of kebori lines to suggest the hair on the legs. Around the fisher- 
man's shaven head is tied a cloth of silver. He wears a short skirt of 
straw to the belt of which is tied a carefully plaited fishing-basket in 
relief of gold. 

The pair of menuki on Plate XLIV, Figs. 1 a-b, signed "Ichinomiya 
Echizen," again illustrate this artist's knowledge of nature and the grace 
with which he sculptured particularly certain of the birds. This pair of 
flying geese are for the greater part carved from black shakudo. The 
breasts are inlaid in a gray shibuichi with black markings. The bill, 
eyes, feet, and wing-tips are of gold. 

The shibuichi fuchikashira (Plate XLIV, Fig. 2) is also by Naga- 
tsune Echizen no Daijo, and the design is accomplished in a very low re- 
lief with delicate inlays of shakudo, gold, and silver. On the clamp under 
a plaited shelter sits Taikobo or Kioshiga (Kiang Tse-ya), a Chinese 
sage. At his side is his fishing basket, suspended from his belt is a small 
calabash. On the head-piece the Chinese emperor Wen Wang, of the 
twelfth century B.C., is portrayed. Taiboko was a renowned sage, who 
late in life was sought out and made counsellor to Wen Wang. In his 
early years, though very poor, he was so hostile to the evil ways of 
Chou Sin that he would accept no position in that state, but retired to 
the principality of Si Po, the Duke of Chou, where he spent much time 
in deep contemplation as he fished. His wife grew tired of their poverty, 
and one day on discovering that he fished with a straight iron pin in 
lieu of a hook, she deserted him in disgust. Later on he aided Si Po, 
afterwards canonized as Wen Wang, in war, and was appointed by him 
counsellor. He became very wealthy, whereupon his wife returned and 
begged him to take her back. In answer he simply poured a dishful 
of water upon the ground and bade her put it back into the dish, saying, 

124 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

"It is no more possible that man and wife if once divorced can come 
together again, than that the spilt water be replaced in the dish." Sad- 
dened and ashamed, the wife went and hanged herself. Concerning the 
peculiar form of his fishing hook, J. Bowes remarks, "Some think that 
this may suggest that he lived an aimless life, but another interpretation 
is that wishing to govern by peaceful means, he was content to attain 
his object by persuasion rather than by force." 1 F. W. Mayers 2 at- 
tributes his successful fishing to his virtue, which, he observes, even 
the fishes acknowledged, voluntarily impaling themselves upon the 
straight piece of iron which he used. 

The reliefs which decorate the kozuka (Plate XLIV, Fig. 3) signed 
"Ganshoshi Nagatsune," are high and well-rounded. They are inlaid 
upon a shakudo nanako plate which in turn is inlaid in the face of a 
kozuka of copper gilded. The decorations represent the paraphernalia 
used in the Sarugaku dance, known as Okina Sambaso. The mask in 
relief of shakudo with carved bosses of silver above the eyebrows repro- 
duces the black mask (kokushiki) , with white tufts of an old, laughing, 
bewhiskered man. A companion mask used in the dance is white with 
black tufts representing another old man. In the centre of the plate in 
relief of gold is the dance rattle, a cluster of bells (susu) with a handle 
and tasseled cord. At the left, in relief of shakudo, is a tall cap known 
as eboshi, with tying cords and band of gold. There is often painted on 
this hat a red disk representing the sun; the twelve corded divisions, 
distinguishable here, are said to designate the months. The costume 
which accompanies these accessories in the performance is adorned with 
one or all of the following emblems of longevity, — the crane, the tortoise, 
and the pine (see Plate LV, Fig. 2). The origin of this dance appears 
to have been a religious performance which took place at Nara in 
a.d. 807 to stop the progress of some fissures suddenly opened in the 
earth belching forth fire and smoke. 3 The No dance known as Takigino 
("Fuel-burning No") is presented on the seventh day of the second 
month, and is a survival of the early Okina Sambaso. 

Another artist of the middle eighteenth century, who did not migrate 
to the city of the shogun, but remained in the ancient capital Kyoto, 
where he was born, was Masamori of the Hosono family. Because of 
his individuality and skill, his sword-fittings may be easily recognized, 

1 J. Bowes, Japanese Pottery, p. 494. 

2 Chinese Reader's Manual, p. 81. 

"H. Joly, Legend in Japanese Art, p. 301. For further particulars, see H. 
Joly, Random Notes on Dances, Masks and Early Forms of Theatre in Japan 
(Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. XI, pp. 51-53). 


Hosono Masamori of Kyoto 125 

decorated as they usually are with a flat inlay combined with engraving, 
a style which he instituted known as kebori-sogan. He had many fol- 
lowers, who, however, rarely signed their own names, but inscribed 
their products with the name of their master. The subjects they pre- 
ferred represent landscapes charmingly engraved, or river-scenes in 
which many tiny figures with costumes carefully inlaid in gold, copper, 
or shakudo, are shown at games or celebrations or drifting in crowded 
boats on calm streams. These subjects may have been suggested by the 
early masters of the print world, but are more likely to have been taken 
from scroll paintings (makimono). 

On Plate XLIII there is a tsuba of shibuichi which is typical of the 
work of Masamori (Fig. 3). On both sides the artist has made use of 
silver and gold to inlay various parts of the objects and costumes de- 
picted, thereby breaking up the complicated design and producing at the 
same time a brilliant effect. 

The scene is evidently that in the neighborhood of a temple, for in 
the immediate foreground a portion of a large torii and the crossed 
ridge-poles of a temple-building may be distinguished. Pine and plum 
trees gracefully encompass the scene. At the left of the torii a vendor 
is seated behind a counter whereon are tiny bowls and two small Inari 
foxes, one in silver inlay, giving us the clue that this is a temple dedicated 
to the God of Rice. Many figures are coming forth from the temple ; 
peasants, priests, and samurai, as well as the bulky form of a wrestler, 
may be singled out. At the right a peasant carrying two baskets sus- 
pended on a carrying pole (ryogake) approaches a group seated around 
a table on which are laid out five sticks with baked bean-curd (dengaku) , 
a favorite refreshment of the peasant. A woman with a stiff fan 
(uchiwa) is fanning the flames over which the dengaku is roasted. A 
sake tub stands behind her. Beyond and over a hill four men play at 
target shooting with bows which are inlaid in silver. Another group in 
the distance motions to unseen friends to join them. Under the magni- 
fying glass each little face takes on a distinct personality, and the delicate 
outlines prove to be cut with unerring accuracy. The guard is signed 
"Masamori Hosono Sozayemon," and is believed, on account of its 
excellence and beauty, to be a true work from Masamori's own hand. 1 

A most effective form of inlay is occasionally seen in Ishiguro and 
Sano work, but more frequently is met with on fittings made by the 
Tsuji school, a group whose founder and protagonist was Rinsendo 
Mitsumasa (1721-77) of the province of Omi. He and his followers, 

1 This tsuba was at one time in the collection of Alfred Beit of London. 

126 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

particularly Yoshinori, are noted for their skill in the type of decoration 
known as sumi-zogan ("ink-inlay"), sometimes erroneously called by the 
name togashi-zogan, which is distinctly different, being as it is an imita- 
tion of nashiji lacquer. Generally accomplished with dark metal inlaid 
against a lighter medium, sumi-zogan has actually the effect of ink paint- 
ing. The piece to be inlaid is fully chiselled out of an independent 
block of metal with slanting sides, broader at the base than the top. "The 
object which is to receive the decoration is then channelled in dimensions 
corresponding with those of the design block, and the latter having been 
fixed in the channel, the surface is ground and polished until absolute 
intimacy seems to be obtained between the inlaid design and the metal 
forming its field. 1 

A most effective design which is often brought out by this process is 
to be seen on the kozuka (Plate XLIV, Fig. 4) by Yoshinori. This 
specimen is one of a full set of sword-mounts each of which is adorned 
with a similar motive. The foundation metal is gray shibuichi. Against 
a silver moon is silhouetted in shakudo inlay a black crow, which clings to 
a branch cut in kebori. Below in the finest of lines of silver hirazogan, 
there is suggested a curving stream, upon whose waters the moonlight 
is reflected. 

Basho, the great seventeenth-century poet who specialized in the 
epigram, has left a charming triplet full of suggestive atmosphere, as all 
truly Japanese poems are, and one which may have served for the inspi- 
ration of Yoshinori's design. 

Kare-eda ni 

Karasu no tomari-keri The end of autumn and some rooks 

Aki no kure. Are perched upon a withered branch. 2 

On some rare specimens, artists, particularly those of the Sano 
school, by whom the process was invented, have superimposed upon a 
sumi-zogan design a nanako treatment which gives the effect of a silken 
brocade. Two such pieces are to be seen in the collection of G. Oeder 
(Nos. 1337 and 1355). A shakudo tsuba by Ishiguro Masahide is in- 
laid with a silver crescent moon. The other piece is a fuchikashira by 
Sano Saneyoshi. 

From the point of view of technical skill, there is nothing to be seen 
on Japanese sword-fittings which exceeds the welding and carving that is 
together known as guribori. This particular decoration is an imitation of 
the carved guri (tsui-shiu) lacquer of China in which layers of differ- 
ently colored lac are exposed by carving. In guribori the cutting is done 

1 F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 245. 
2 B. Chamberlain, Japanese Poetry, p. 190. 



\ * 



Guribori, Murakami and Enamels 127 

in channels of narrowing width. On Plate XLV there is an excellent 
example of guribori in the nineteenth-century tsuba with scalloped 
edge (Fig. 1). It is composed of fifteen thin, alternating layers of 
shakudo and copper so skillfully welded together that, while there is 
no apparent sign of soldering, neither is there any fusion to be detected, 
the distinct lines of opposed colors being clearly preserved. On either 
side there are curving channels with sloping sides cut through seven of 
the layers, thus exposing the red and black metals in stripes and reserv- 
ing one layer of shakudo between the designs on either side of the tsuba. 
This tsuba is unsigned, but similar pieces were made by several of the 
Takahashi family and some of the members of the Shoami and ltd 

In the eighteenth century there lived in Yedo a certain stirrup-maker, 
named Tochiku of the family Murakami. He also is known by the name 
Nakanori. He is among the first, if not the originator of the style of 
applying mother-of-pearl to his sword-fittings in order to bring out 
certain parts of his decoration, such as the wings of insects or the 
feathers of birds, particularly the peacock and pheasant. In this col- 
lection there is an interesting tsuba of iron bounded by a shakudo rim 
whose decoration doubtless was influenced by Jochiku (Plate XLV, 
Fig. 2). It is unsigned. In relief of silver there is a broadly sculptured, 
scaled dragon moving through water in pursuit of the flaming jewel 
(tcana), the symbol of perfection. The gem and the imbricated waves 
are inlaid in shell, the tama in a flashing yellowish-red bit, the water 
shining in the blue and green lights of the shell of the abalone (Haliotis, 
in Japanese awabi). , 

There is associated on the same plate with the foregoing examples 
of rather uncommon and ornate decoration, a tsuba which is ornamented 
with reliefs of cloisonne enamel, known as shippo (see p. 39). The 
introduction into Japan of this method of decorating works of art has 
been by many writers ascribed to Korean artizans of the sixteenth 
century. Other authorities, particularly Omura Seigai, compiler of the 
"Record of the Imperial Treasury, Shoshoin" (p. 22) thinks it not 
improbable that the art of enameling may have been practised in Japan 
in ancient days, which in this case would mean before the ninth century. 
One is inclined to leave the matter of its origin open until further in- 
vestigation, and accredit the revival of the art in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries to the influence of Chinese, and possibly European 
traders who landed at the port of Nagasaki. It is that re-appearance of 
enamel work which is of interest in this study, for it is believed that the 

128 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

first sword-fittings which were adorned with shippo were made by mem- 
bers of the Hirata family whose founder Ddnin is said to have been at 
work in Kyoto in the period Keicho (1596-1614). "Ddnin was sum- 
moned in 161 1 by the shogun to his country residence at Shizuoka. He 
received the appointment of chaser in metals and shippo worker, a 
dwelling was allotted to him, with rations of rice, and many gifts were 
made to him. Here he followed his employment until 1616 when he 
was called to Yedo. Thenceforward he and his descendants served the 
court until the downfall of the shogunate in 1868." 1 

Ddnin, sometimes known as Hikoshiro and later as Niudo, seldom 
signed his work. In fact the examples made by the first seven genera- 
tions of the family are only occasionally signed, and therefore it is 
difficult to characterize with assurance their work ; a signature is never 
to be taken as a conclusive proof, that being the first and least difficult 
part to forge in a work of art. After examining certain specimens ad- 
judged to be authentic, J. Bowes 2 has reached the following conclu- 
sions : — 

"In Hirata work the cloisons are of gold, and the enamels are both 
translucent and opaque with their surfaces ground and unground, 
whereas in the later pieces the cloisons are of brass and the pastes 
always opaque and ground. The latter are upon copper foundations, 
whilst the Hirata employed a variety of metals, iron, shakud5, shibuichi, 
bronze, and occasionally silver and lacquer. In later work the surfaces 
are completely covered with cloisons and enamel pastes; the Hirata 
craftsmen, on the other hand, merely ornamented the grounds of the 
objects treated with small subjects and devices of enamel work, such 
as takaramono, rosettes, blossoms, fan-shaped fields, birds, and flowers. 
The designs are outlined in gold ribbons or wire fixed to the metal 
base, the various parts of the subject being filled with enamel pastes 
which are afterward vitrified, and the completed works are then inserted 
in cavities prepared for their reception in the article decorated. The 
two methods of enamelling are often found associated on a piece, cloi- 
sonne (enamelling on a metal base confined within ribbon-like walls) 
and champ-leve (enamelling sunk into a hollo wed-out patch in the object 
decorated with pastes separated by cloisons)." 

One other form of decoration remains for notice : the small figures 
executed in gold wire either incrusted or inlaid, generally in spiral forms 
or dots without the addition of any enamel paste. These constantly 

1 J. Bowes, Notes on Shipp5, p. 80. 
'Op. cit., p. 82. 

MBOT.SFUOas i.;...'-:' 



Enamels by the Hirata 129 

appear on Hirata work. The Hirata ornamented many sword-guards 
made by other makers than themselves. The name that may be inscribed 
on such tsuba is more likely to be the name of the maker of the guard 
rather than that of the enameller. Such is thought to be the case with 
the iron tsuba on Plate XLV, Fig. 3, which is signed "Yoshiaki," a name 
borne by two craftsmen listed by S. Hara, one of the Shimizu family, 
the other of the Ozaka family, both early nineteenth-century workers. 
The iris (shobu) at the left is in high relief of gilded copper with leaves 
of dark blue shakudo. Above, in cloisonne with gold threads and enam- 
els of green, blue, white, and lilac, are a butterfly and a bee. These 
little insects are excellently made, and resemble very closely two similar 
reliefs on a kozuka, 1 which is signed "Narisuke," the name of a nine- 
teenth-century descendant of Donin. 

The genealogy of the Hirata family of Mino Province is carefully 
worked out, and their signatures reproduced by J. Bowes, who illus- 
trates many beautiful examples of their work. 2 The climax of their art 
was reached in the early nineteenth century by Harunari and Narimasa, 
both shippo workers to the shoguns. Their sword-fittings are of exqui- 
site workmanship, made of a variety of metals and enriched with forms 
in opaque enamels and gold-wire spirals. The larger objects of metal 
by these artists, such as braziers, perfume burners, and incense boxes 
(kogo), are among the important examples of Japanese metal work. 

*J. Bowes, Notes on Shippo, Plate a, No. 6. 

"Another Hirata family lived in the province of Awa, but the members are 
not known to have made shippo. 


, From the early eighteenth on through the nineteenth century, there 
lived in the city of Mito in Hitachi Province many craftsmen skilled in 
the working of metals, who produced fittings for the sword. Employing 
both iron and alloys, they worked in various styles, generally in relief. 
Not only did they leave examples illustrative of their own originality, 
they also are known to have made remarkable copies after the Nara and 
Yokoya models. While there are several independent artists who signed 
their work "made in Mito," the majority of the craftsmen of this city 
belonged to one of the four following groups which had settled there 
at various times : the Sekijoken, the Koami, the Hitotsuyanagi or 
Ichiryu, and the Yegawa families. 

The Sekijoken school was founded by Oyama Taizan Motozane 
(1739-1829), a pupil of Motonori of the Yokoya family. In spite of 
the fact that he was acquainted with the katakiribori of Somin and his 
followers, he and his pupils seldom worked in line engraving, but 
markedly show forth the influence of the leaders of the Nara school. 
Indeed, so completely did they understand the technique and spirit of 
Joi and Toshinaga that several of their fittings have been attributed to 
those earlier masters themselves. A great number of artists flocked to 
the studio of Motozane to learn the craft. Motozane II, Motosada, and 
Motonaga are among the pupils, many of whom bear names beginning 
with the same character as that of their revered master. 

One of the outstanding pupils is Motoharu of the Fujita family who 
lived in the early years of the nineteenth century. Brown iron has been 
chosen for the circular tsuba bearing his name (Plate XLVI, Fig. 1). 
Thereon he has sculptured within a narrow rim in marubori zogan an 
interesting delineation of the Chinese legend of Hwang Shi Kung, the 
Yellow Stone Elder, and Chang Liang, chief counsellor of the founder 
of the Han dynasty, known as Chorio in Japan. One day the latter met 
an aged man, by name Kosekiko (Hwang Shi Kung), who had dropped 
his shoe into the river. Chorio restored the shoe to Kosekiko, who bade 
his younger companion meet him five days later at a certain place. 
"After thrice postponing the promised revelation because each time 
Chang had failed to arrive respectfully at an earlier hour than his 
strange acquaintance, the old man, satisfied at length, drew from his 


The Schools of Mito 131 

robe a volume which he bestowed upon him with the words, 'He who 
studies this book shall become a king's preceptor!' He added that in 
thirteen years' time Chang Liang would meet him in the shape of a yel- 
low stone at Ku Cheng. This prediction was verified by the finding of 
a yellow stone at the time and place, as prophesied." 1 

Motoharu has lightened the dark iron of his tsuba with inlays of 
other metals, modelling the faces in silver and carving the horse trap- 
pings, the tongue and flaming appendages of the dragon in gold. In 
technique this tsuba is suggestive of the work of the Hikone group, 
with the additional freedom and vigor of carving which had naturally 
developed in a century and a half . 

Another illustrious disciple of Motozane I was Hisanaga of the 
Takase family, also known as Fiirytiken, who lived at the end of the 
eighteenth century. He is the maker of a small shibuichi tsuba in this 
collection, a guard of irregular form ornamented on both sides with a 
landscape in Chinese style. The tsuba of shakudo (Plate XLVI, Fig. 2) 
is likewise an example of his excellent chiselling. It is adorned with 
a representation of Narihira on a fully caparisoned horse, standing with 
his groom in the flowing stream of Tamagawa. On the edges of the 
shore grow low cherry-trees with full blooms carved in silver and gold 

Narihira, one of the Six Poetical Geniuses (Rokkasen), is a char- 
acter well-beloved and intimately known, especially from the Ise Mono- 
gatari (tenth century), one of the famous narratives in Japanese litera- 
ture, which relates the adventures of this young nobleman, who finally 
was banished to Azuma on account of an intrigue with the empress. He 
is generally pictured as gazing up toward Mt. Fuji, or standing on the 
banks of the Tamagawa River, or looking upon the floating maple-leaves 
upon Tatsutagawa. 

Koami of the Kikuchi family had studied the art of making sword- 
fittings with Goto Renjo at the end of the seventeenth century. He was 
the founder of the Koami family whose members worked in Mito, advo- 
cating the style of the Goto artists. His most renowned pupil was 
Yatabe Michinaga or Tsuju, whose name was derived from the two 
Goto artists, Tsiijo and Jujo. His early works reflect the Goto influence, 
but it is apparent that the charm of the Nara fittings influenced him as 
well, and that he later developed a style quite his own. While he often 
worked in the alloys, most of his fittings are of iron, as is the case of the 
tsuba on Plate XLVI, Fig. 3. This guard is unusually heavy, the edge 

*F. W. Mayers, Chinese Reader's Manual, p. 8. 

132 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

being covered with high reliefs of iron, copper, and gold representing 
the emblems of longevity: the crane, the tortoise, the pine, and the 
bamboo. At the top, rolling clouds are sculptured ; at the base, breaking 
waves with flecks of foam touched in gold nunome are broadly carved. 
The signature is inlaid in gold on the obverse. , 

The Hitotsuyanagi or Ichiryu school was founded in the middle of 
the eighteenth century by a member of the Hirano family, by name 
Tomoyoshi, a pupil of Shinozaki Yasuhira, who in turn had been trained 
by Nara Yasuchika I. There is little of the Nara style, however, to be 
detected in the work of the Hitotsuyanagi. For subjects they preferred 
dragons, birds, and kara-shishi ("Chinese lions"), the latter being pre- 
sented in a style at times strongly reflecting the art of Yanagawa Nao- 
masa. There were four skillful artists in this school, by the name of 
Tomoyoshi, all of whom, save Tomoyoshi III, used the names Riosuke 
and Izayemon. The tsuba on Plate XLVII, Fig. 1, is signed "Hitotsu- 
yanagi Tomoyoshi." It is carved after the manner of one of the first 
two of these masters, who generally worked in iron, as in this case. 
The larger portion of the metal has been chiselled away, leaving a force- 
ful carving of a scaled dragon confined within a narrow rim inlaid in 
a key-pattern in silver. This design is often met with. A similar tsuba, 
likewise by Hitotsuyanagi Tomoyoshi, is illustrated by L. Gonse. 1 A 
second tsuba in the collection of Field Museum of Natural History bears 
the same name, but is obviously the work of Tomoyoshi III or IV, who 
usually employed the alloys with effect. The tsuba referred to is made 
of two metals, silver and shakudo. They are so combined that one 
half of the field (divided diagonally) is dark, while the other is light. 
The subject of decoration is the tiger, the king of beasts, near a waterfall 
beneath rain and wind-driven clouds. 

Tomoaki, a pupil of Tomoyoshi III, and Tomotsugu, who worked 
under the direction of Tomoyoshi IV, are both represented by tsuba in 
this collection. Each of these artists, in the choice of his subjects of 
decoration and in his manipulation of the metals used, was influenced by 
the masters of the Nara school, selecting for the most part historical 
personages or birds and animals. 

The fourth noted family of Mito, that known as the Yegawa, was 
an offshoot of the Hitotsuyanagi, having been founded by Toshimasa, 
chiseller to the daimyo of Kuruma and pupil of Tomomichi, the second 
son of Tomoyoshi I. In the majority of cases, the fittings made by 

'L'Art japonaise, Vol. II, Plate xvi, No. 7. 


i** * "**** 



The Schools of Mito 133 

this group are of the alloys, though an occasional piece in iron testifies 
to their skill in handling the sterner medium with equal effect. 

An independent artist, whose original style can easily be recognized, 
is Masatsugu Ichijusai, whom H. Joly and K. Tomita 1 place in the 
early nineteenth century. His style is bold and striking. Employing iron 
for the foundation, he has brought out the details with reliefs of silver 
and extremely fine inlay of gold. Fig. 2 on Plate X.LVII is an excellent 
example of his skill, signed as it is, "Made by Masatsugu Ichijusai who 
lived in Suifu (Mito)." Of irregular form, the edge is bounded by a 
cloud-like design similar to the rugged outline of the seppa dai. On 
the unevenly chiselled surface in low relief in the centre of the guard 
is the dramatic figure of T'ai Kung, the aged priest, who with his 
double-edged sword executed Ta Ki, one of China's most notoriously 
wicked women. 

As paramour of the emperor Chou Sin she led the court into most 
dissolute practices. When the reformers tried to change the habits of 
the ruler, they were rewarded by being made to walk on a red hot 
tube of copper smeared with oil until they fell into a blazing pit of 
charcoal below. Finally, Wu Wang founder of the Chou dynasty, rose 
and opposed the emperor who, defeated, fled to a palace which he set on 
fire. By order of Wu Wang, Ta Ki was killed by an old priest, T'ai 
Kung, and her body burned. Her spirit is said to have emerged in the 
form of a nine-tailed fox. 2 The reverse of this tsuba by Masatsugu 
makes quite as dramatic an appeal as the obverse side. Over a similarly 
roughened ground are inlaid in gold relief flashes of lightning, one of 
which encompasses the neck of a large fox. The head is in silver relief, 
realistically carved ; the nine tails are skillfully inlaid in the finest of gold 

A name which is not listed in the record of metal-workers, compiled 
by S. Hara, is that of Yasumitsu, who states on the tsuba (Plate XLVII, 
Fig. 3) that he was a resident of Mito. He was independent, as far as 
is known, of any of the schools. The tsuba made by him is of iron and 
of mokkd form. On both sides patches have been broadly chiselled 
away to produce an uneven ground. On the reverse a full moon emerg- 
ing from clouds, is inlaid in silver nunome ; on the obverse, near snow- 
laden rushes in relief of copper, gold, and silver, is a pair of mandarin 

'Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 176. 

*F. W. Mayers, Chinese Reader's Manual, p. 211 ; and H. Joly, Legend in 
Japanese Art, p. 353. 

134 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

ducks (oshidori), emblem of conjugal felicity, a subject which appears 
constantly in Chinese and Japanese art. 

The name of three other unaffiliated artists who are represented in 
this collection should be mentioned before leaving the large Mito group. 
Watari Tanetora has sculptured a scaled dragon writhing through 
cavernous openings in an iron guard dated "sixth year of Bunkwa" — 
that is, 1811. The glyptic art of Katsuhira Seiryoken may be admired 
in a small tsuba, also of iron, from which two flying cranes are carved 
in the round (see also p. 183). Seo Mototada, who signs himself a 
pupil of Nanjo (Motonaga) and a retainer of Kojo, has left a pleasing 
iron tsuba decorated with a copper badger (tanuki) puffed out in the 
orthodox Japanese fashion and beating a tattoo on his abdomen, as he 
looks up toward the full moon inlaid in relief of gold. 

Besides the groups presided over by the four families mentioned at 
the opening of this chapter, there was a large school known as the 
Tamagawa, which was an offshoot of the Koami, having sprung from 
the disciple of that school, named Michinaga, who died in 1768 (p. 131). 
In this group there were over thirty members, most of whom showed 
a strong tendency toward the Nara style, using a variety of metals, and 
generally adorning their fittings with figures in relief. Most renowned 
among these men was Yoshinaga, a pupil of the founder and maker of 
the tsuba on Plate XLVIII, Fig. 1. This guard is of dark blue shakudo 
and adorned with reliefs in several shades of gold, silver, shibuichi, and 
copper. The scene depicted is often met with and illustrates the descent 
of Yoshitsune on the castle of the Taira, at the battle of Ichi-no-Tani 
in 1 184. The advance-guard, riding a brown horse, dashes down the cliff 
which is described in the records as "too steep for the descent of apes." 
Yoshitsune follows, wearing the horned helmet now to be seen in the 
monastery on Mount Kuruma. He rides a black charger, and an 
attendant following holds aloft the Genji standard. The faces of the 
armed companions are sculptured in a realistic manner. On the reverse 
side of the tsuba, above foam-flecked waves, rises the castle of the 
enemy, with pennants of silver and gold flying in the breeze. The 
details of the costumes, armor, and horse-trappings are admirably 
worked out ; even the fur-covered scabbard on Yoshitsune's long sword 
is finished with delicate inlay and surface carving to produce the soft 
texture of the tiger skin. 

A nephew and pupil, named Yoshihisa Joyeiken, Kukuken, or Toun, 
succeeded Yoshinaga, and until 1797, when he died at the age of sixty- 
seven years, held up the glory of the family. He was followed by his 

The Tamagawa Family 135 

adopted son, Yoshihisa II, sometimes known as Yoshinori. He, in turn, 
handed down his skill in the craft of tsuba-making to his son Yoshihisa 
III, who sometimes signed himself "Yoshiyuki." 

The son of Yoshinaga bore his father's name, but inscribed it with 
different characters (see p. 189) and often used the name Masanaga. 
He has left some good examples of metal-work, but he did not possess 
the originality and the technical excellence of his cousins, named Yoshi- 
hisa. He is responsible, however, for the training of such a successful 
artist as Yasunori of the Nukagawa family, who in the early nineteenth 
century studied under him. Among the several young craftsmen who 
frequented the studio of the last-mentioned artist, were Kanzawa Mitsu- 
naga Koyosai or Ichimusai of Yedo and Yasunaga, who lived in the 
province of Kozuke in the early nineteenth century. Two tsuba of brass 
signed "Yasunaga" with kakikan are in this collection ; one of them ap- 
pears in Plate XLVIII, Fig. 2. On the obverse, upon an ishime surface, 
the artist has inlaid in high relief a forceful portrait of the Buddhist 
priest Daruma, Bodhidharma, the patriarch of India, to whom is attrib- 
uted the introduction into China of the Zen sect of Buddhism in the sixth 
century. Legend has been busy surrounding this character with interest- 
ing experiences. He is said to have sat at one time so long in contempla- 
tion, that on arising his legs fell off, having rotted away in the nine years 
of his inactivity. Again, while meditating, he is reported to have fallen 
asleep. On awaking he was so disturbed at his weakness, that he cut 
off his eyelids and threw them on the ground, whereupon, according to 
some accounts, they grew into tea leaves. Often represented as crossing 
a stream on a reed or journeying to China carrying a single shoe, he is 
here pictured with uncovered head and evidently in deep concentration 
of thought, a bold and simple delineation characteristic of Zen ideals. 
The head is sculptured from shibuichi, gray brown in tone and tending 
to suggest a swarthy skin. In the ears are hung rings of gold. The 
robe in which his hand is hidden is carved from copper. On the reverse 
of the tsuba there is in relief of silver a golden handled chowry of the 
form called hossu, or futsujin, originally made of the white hair of a yak 
or of a horse, and carried by Buddhist priests to be used symbolically 
to rid the atmosphere of evil influences or actually to drive away insects 
disturbing to contemplation. 

The third tsuba on Plate XLVIII is imbued with the Buddhistic 
spirit, which is likewise suggested with breadth and subtlety. It is 
signed "Yasunori at the base of San Yen mountain" {Yasunori [kaki- 
han] Oite San Yen Yama fumoto). On the reverse is the date "Third 

136 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

Year of Meiji;" that is, 1870. The tsuba is of silver with plain surface 
save for a bit of carving around the riohitsu. Dried reeds and two 
faded lotus-leaves tell of the swampy pond which the dull silver suggests. 
The changing colors of the dying leaves are reproduced in a soft brown 
iron tinged on the edges with yellow gold, — a most unusual combination 
to find inlaid on the light silver, but one which is particularly effective. 
Among the different symbolisms woven around the lotus, that of the 
pale flower rising from the mud, thus signifying the possibility of a 
pure life emerging from a dark and noisesome environment, is one which 
is ever eloquent in its appeal. Yasunori is an unknown artist so far as 
the records are concerned, but he is associated with the Tamagawa fam- 
ily, since it is thought likely that he studied under Nukagawa Yasunori. 
Another example from his hand appears in the collection of G. Oeder 
(No. 1725). 


■.»«*»> > 'I ! ++>*/* 

Ml ttf fljfe 
c i lo^f 

isin of ftusfi 


In Yedo, about the year 1800, a pupil of Tamagawa Yoshinaga 
(Masanaga) founded the school known as the Uchikoshi. His name may* 
be read in three ways : Hironaga, Hirotoshi, or Koju ; all of these 
readings are apt to be encountered in the lists of makers of sword-fit- 
tings. His early name, Konishi Bunshichi, rarely appears. In the 
excellence of finish and the decorative quality of his pieces, one imme- 
diately recognizes the heritage which came to all metal-workers in Japan 
in the nineteenth century. An almost countless number of processes 
had been perfected through the foregoing centuries. Methods of mould- 
ing and forging, recipes for mixing and coloring metals, treatments for 
the production of unusual surface decoration, inlay of various kinds, 
line engraving and tooling, chiselling in saw-cuts or sculpturing in the 
round, all of these methods of adorning the metal mounts had been 
tried, improved upon, and brought to a high degree of excellence by 
the hundreds of artists who had spent their time and effort on the deco- 
ration of the sword. 

The products of Hironaga Ichijosai or Jounsai are in most cases 
happy evidence of the accumulated skill of the pioneer craftsmen. On 
Plate XLIX there are five pieces from the chisel of this artist which 
illustrate the diversity of his genius. Fig. 1 is a shibuichi tsuba, with a 
clean-cut ishime ground broken by soft waves cut in kebori. At the 
right, in high relief of gold, shakudo, and shibuichi, is the figure of 
Yoritomo, founder of the shogunate in 1192 and half-brother of 
Yoshitsune. Engaged in one of his favorite pastimes, he and his at- 
tendant are looking up toward flying cranes which have been released 
from a bamboo cage. Yoritomo was wont to tie on their feet cards 
warning persons against the capture of these birds, requesting instead 
that any who saw them alight would record that fact and send them 
back. On the reverse side of the tsuba a sword-bearer kneels near the 
water's edge. Inlaid in gold, on the main figure on the obverse, is the 
gentian crest of the Minamoto family of which Yoritomo was a member. 
The bird cage is in low relief of gold, the cranes are of silver with 
shakudo tail-feathers, and the feet and cards are of gold. On this tsuba 
and the next one to be considered the signature is written in cursive, 
"Hironaga (kakihan) Ichijosai." 


138 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

The tsuba in Fig. 2, made of iron with a soft brown patina, illus- 
trates Hironaga's skill in sculpturing the harder metal. At the top of 
the tsuba, soft clouds partly cover the uppermost branches of a tree 
carved in the round. At the right, two figures approach, one of whom 
leads a kara-shishi ("Chinese lion"), tethered by a golden chain. H. 
Joly 1 describes this couple as "the foreigners from Ranha." The face, 
arms, and legs of the woman are of shibuichi, her eyes of gold, and the 
details of her costume of gold and silver. The man's figure, carved 
entirely from the iron, is lightened by bosses of gold inlay on his leggings 
and skirt. On the reverse, near a waterfall inlaid in silver, are bamboo 
shoots in gold relief. 

The dark blue shakudo tsuba (Plate XLIX, Fig. 3) is also the work 
of Hironaga who states thereon that he was a dweller in Yedo. The 
kakihan is distinctly different from the one following the signatures 
written in cursive. This highly finished piece of metal-work exemplifies 
the jewelry-like quality of nineteenth-century mounts. It is a far cry 
from the pure art displayed in the sombre iron guards of Myochin 
Nobuiye or of the graceful silhouettes of the Akasaka and Higo artists 
or of Kinai of Echizen. The tsuba is no longer a protective plaque for 
a fighting warrior's hand tested in grim battle, but rather the exquisite 
adornment for a sword which supplements the elegant costume worn at 
the shogun's court. Much is heard of the "Glorious Primitives," and 
many collectors have gone so far as to disdain any except the old iron 
guards; but a close examination of this tsuba by Hironaga and many 
other contemporary pieces disproves the popular theory that only the old 
are the truly artistic products. It is simply that the appeal of these 
fittings, characteristic of the efflorescent age, is a different one from 
the restrained and noble beauty displayed on the earlier mounts. 

The subjects portrayed on this sword-guard (Plate XLIX, Fig. 3) 
appear very often on sword-fittings. A tsuba in this collection by Joi, 
as well as several fuchikashira, are ornamented with one, two, or all 
three of the famous Chinese heroes of Shu. 

Kwan Yii (died a.d. 219), Liu Pei (a.d. 162-223, Japanese Gentoku, 
see p. 114), and Chang Fei (died in a.d. 220), known in Japan as Chohi, 
were three famed friends who plighted their allegiance to one another 
in a peach garden at Cho in Chi-li Province. Liu Pei, later emperor of 
Shu and founder of the Han dynasty, was followed through all the stir- 
ring adventures of his checkered career by Kwan Yii. The latter per- 
formed many valiant acts, and was celebrated as one of China's military 

^Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 145, No. 552. 

The Uchikoshi School 139 

heroes, until in 1594 he was proclaimed //("emperor") and hencefor- 
ward worshipped as Kwan Ti, the "God of War." Chang Fei, who 
followed the trade of a butcher until he allied himself with Liu Pei and 
Kwan Yu, also developed, through the exploits of his fellows, into a 
brave and mighty warrior. He was made ruler of Shu by Liu Pei. 

On this tsuba, Chohi, with fan-like beard, leans on a forked halberd, 
and stands behind Kwan Yu whom Hironaga has pictured seated at a 
table and gazing intently upon an open book. The colors of the metals 
chosen to paint these combined portraits are many and beautiful. The 
face of Kwan Yu is of copper. His long, flowing, black beard is of 
shakudo very carefully chiselled in kebori. Chohi's hair is of shibuichi, 
his face of silver, his eyes are flashing gold with black pupils. Brocade 
patterns on both of the costumes are brought out by the inlaying of three 
shades of gold. Such details as the tassel on the halberd and the tying 
cords on Chohi's breastplate are of a very light red copper. 

This last-mentioned metal forms the obverse side of the kozuka 
(Plate XLIX, Fig. 4), also the work of the master Hironaga. At the 
right may be distinguished a calabash from which proceeds a puff of 
wind laden with innumerable prancing horses, spotted in gold, and con- 
tinuing in their tumultuous movement on the reverse side of the kozuka 
where they are etched in kebori. It is a charming reference to the Sen- 
nin Chokwaro, known in China as Chang Kwo, and one of the Eight 
Immortals of the Taoists. This being had the power to evoke from his 
calabash a horse or mule, on whose back he proceeded on long journeys. 
When through with the beast, he would fold it up and put it back into 
the receptacle, where it would remain until the next journey, when, 
ejecting water from his mouth upon the crumpled form, Chokwaro 
would bring the horse to life again. H. Joly 1 asserts that the horse 
coming out of a gourd refers to the proverb, "The horse coming out of 
a gourd is a very unexpected occurrence" (Hyotan kara koma). 

The object in Fig. 5 (Plate XLIX) is signed with the names Jounsai 
(inlaid in gold) and Hironaga (inlaid in copper). It is a kozuka of 
shakudo with a nanako obverse, upon which, in relief of silver, shibuichi, 
copper, and gold, Kanzan and Jittoku (p. 94) lie resting. Three 
ribbon-like bands of copper, gold, and silver are inlaid obliquely across 
the reverse side. 

Hironaga had several pupils, few of whom, however, are listed in the 
records. There are two whose names appear in Hara's list, and who 
also are represented by specimens in this collection. Hiroyasu, also 

'Legend in Japanese Art, p. 42. 

140 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

called Jinzo, came from the province of Echigo. He has chosen two 
interesting subjects to decorate the tsuba which represent him in this 
study. His treatment of waves on the brass guard (Plate L, Fig. i) is 
strongly reflective of his teacher's methods. At the right stands a fisher- 
man whose small skiff, in relief of copper, may be seen on the reverse 
side of the guard. The muscular figure of the man is chiselled from 
shibuichi. He wears a straw skirt, to the belt of which is attached a 
basket in relief of gold. On his brow is a head-band of silver and in 
his hand a burning torch with flames of red copper. With two slender 
lines, in relief of gold, he guides a pair of cormorants sculptured from 
shakudo with bills of silver. 

B. Chamberlain 1 quotes an account written by Maj.-Gen. Palmer, 
who describes in detail the unique process of fishing with cormorants as 
practised in Japan. This sport is always carried on at night, when the 
startled fish swim toward the blazing torches. The cormorants are 
harnessed with a cord around the body, to which is attached a whalebone 
strip used to steady the bird as it is lowered into or lifted from the 
water. About the neck is drawn a metal band tight enough so as to 
allow only small fish to pass below it. The larger fish are lodged in the 
peculiar sac in the throat. After swallowing a certain number of fish, 
the bird becomes dizzy, and is drawn in and made to disgorge his cap- 
ture. Cormorants are said to become wise enough not to try to swallow 
a fish-tail first, lest the tail and fins cut the throat. They have been seen 
to flip a fish into the air and catch it head first. Such an exhibition is 
pictured on the tsuba (Plate L, Fig. i), where the cormorant at the left 
reaches up with open bill toward a small fish descending. 

The other guard signed by Hiroyasu (Plate L, Fig. 2) is of shakudo 
with a surface decoration of fine ishime. The scene is evidently that 
outside the entrance of a house on New Year's day. On both the 
reverse and obverse sides, the pine placed on either side of the door 
(kado matsu) is chiselled in kebori, the new growths on the tips of 
each branch being inlaid in relief of gold. Above hangs a shimenaiva 
(p. 118). The straw rope itself and the pendants are in relief of yellow 
gold, the leaves of the fern (Polypodium dicotomon, in Japanese 
urajiro) are carved from green shibuichi, while the paper gohei are made 
of silver. At the right, two strolling dancers are performing the lion 
dance (shishi mai or dai kagura), one of the oldest dances of Japan, and 
one which is still performed as a sacred dance at certain temples. It 

1 Things Japanese, 5th ed., pp. 105-108. 


^Mkl fc 'O 

The Uchikoshi School 141 

is doubtless an adaptation from a foreign dance, and is most likely 
derived from the taiheiraku of China. 1 

For several centuries it has been performed on New Year's day by 
strolling street dancers. Up until 1655 it was customary to see two 
unattended performers going from door to door. In the later years the 
dancers were often accompanied by a number of musicians, a collector, 
and a few stage properties. It is the older and simpler form which is 
represented on the tsuba illustrated herein. A man, who doubtless 
has a small drum suspended beneath the robe, holds in his hand a 
drumstick, and wears the typical shishi mask with movable jaw. A 
pendant gohci is hanging down his back. His figure is completely cov- 
ered with a large rippling cloth, sculptured from shakudo with a chis- 
elled pattern in which gold dots are inlaid. A young attendant in 
shibuichi dress with a girdle of gold is creeping under the loose end of 
the robe preparatory to the enacting of the dance. The colored metals, 
such as the copper from which the mask is carved, and the green 
shibuichi and yellow gold used to depict the shimcnawa, are set off to 
fine effect by the dark blue shakudo background. 

The tsuba associated on the same plate with the two foregoing pieces 
does not possess particular beauty, but is reproduced as a characteristic 
example of another of Hironaga's pupils. Hiroyoshi Jogetsusai, who 
occasionally signed himself Gensuke, lived in the early nineteenth 
century, and very often decorated his sword-fittings with the subject of 
the rats' or foxes' wedding. On the obverse side of this brass tsuba 
(Plate L, Fig. 3), three animals clothed as samurai head the procession 
which is continued on the reverse. The main part of the large company 
is etched in kebori on the under side of the sword-guard. In the midst 
of this pictured crowd, there is a litter in which the bride is being carried 
to the home of her husband. H. Joly, 2 in describing a similar specimen, 
designates the animals as rats, but it seems far more likely that they 
represent foxes, and that this decoration is a picture of the foxes' wed- 
ding made familiar to many persons through A. Mitford's 3 recounting 
of the story. To be sure, the day represented on this tsuba seems to be 
a fair one, for the slanting lines of rain usually accompanying the foxes' 
procession are not here depicted. The figures on the obverse are in 
relief of various metals, shibuichi, gold, silver, and shakudo. Two 
carry paper lanterns, while a third bears upon his shoulder a halberd 

1 H. Joly, Random Notes on Dances, Masks and the Early Forms of Theatre 
in Japan (Transactions Japan Soc, Vol. XI, p. 30). 

'Japanese Sword Fittings in the Naunton Collection, No. 1706. 
"Tales of Old Japan, pp. 270-272. 

142 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

covered over with a cloth. Many pieces bearing this subject of decora- 
tion are to be seen in collections of sword-fittings, three are owned by 
this museum, two of them being unsigned and inferior in workmanship 
to this one by Hiroyoshi Jogetsusai. 

Though there were several schools of the name Tanaka in Yedo and 
Kyoto, the two which had the largest following were those founded by 
Masayoshi and Kiyonaga, respectively. Masayoshi had studied under 
Goto Yetsujo in the beginning of the eighteenth century. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son Masaf usa who further perfected his art by working in 
the studio of Goto Ranjo. Tomomasa, Yoshiaki, and Yoshiyuki all 
belong to this group which was strictly influenced by the Goto artists. 

Kiyonaga, on the other hand, seems to have evolved for himself an 
individual style from the diligent study of casts of pieces by good 
masters which he was wont to collect. Among his many pupils were 
Kiyoshige, his son, and Toshikage and Toshishige (often erroneously 
called Nagakage and Nagashige). 1 These artists worked in various 
metals, using the alloys quite as often as they employed iron. It was 
through the medium of the harder metal, however, that their finest 
effects were accomplished. Kiyonaga inaugurated a peculiar style of 
gold and silver nunome-zogan, particularly suited to the reproducing of 
clouds. This method of decoration shows up to full advantage when 
applied to a dark brown iron background. Fujiwara Kiyonaga, also 
known by the names Toryiisai and Bunjiro, was awarded the honorary 
title of Hogen ("Eye of the Law"). Very often he signed his products 
solely with his kakihan, particularly those which were made as presenta- 
tion tsuba (ken jo). 2 

His most renowned pupil is Morikawa Toshikage, who was born 
in 1839, and who was still living at the age of forty. He used the names 
Hoshinsai and Ichiryiishi, occasionally adding the Fujiwara seal. Two 
products from his chisel are in this collection, one being illustrated in 
Plate LI, Figs. 1 and 2. It has been deemed advisable to illustrate both 
the obverse and reverse sides of this iron tsuba of mokko form, since 
each is an excellent manifestation of the genius of Toshikage. The sub- 
ject, the lion (shishi) and the king of flowers, the peony (in this combi- 
nation known as botan ni kara-shishi) , is very often depicted, but seldom 
does it have as dramatic an interpretation as on this small field. Within 
a raised rim chiselled in cloud-like irregularity, the artist has sculptured 

1 H. Joly and K. Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 170. 
a H. Joly, Inscriptions of Japanese Sword Fittings (Transactions Japan Soc, 
Vol. XV, p. 90). 


•*' A.X , '»h»V^«- 

The Tanaka School 143 

a driving storm passing over a clouded mountain. Below is a rushing 
stream on whose waves are golden flecks of foam. The snarling lion 
with flowing mane and tail is modelled in relief of shibuichi, the spots 
on his coat being inlaid in gold. The whole body of the animal is instinct 
with life. Above, through the slanting lines of rain, emerge peonies 
delicately carved from silver ; their dark leaves of iron are touched with 
gold nunome. It is interesting to compare this tsuba with two pieces in 
the Naunton collection, 1 which are also the work of this artist. They 
are of shibuichi decorated with reliefs very closely resembling those 
described above. The other tsuba by Toshikage, in this Museum, is oval, 
and likewise bounded by a raised rim within which there is a cloudy 
border. A tiger, seated near large bamboo sprouts, is pictured on the 
obverse, while a mountain-peak and rushing stream in relief of silver 
decorate the reverse. 

This same popular subject, the king of beasts, the tiger seeking out 
a place of hiding and protection in the bamboo thicket, is presented by 
another member of the Tanaka school. "Masakage Hosonsai" is the 
name inscribed upon the iron tsuba of mokko form in Plate LI, Fig. 3. 
Though this artist was evidently unknown to Hara, Joly describes a 
tsuba which also bears his signature. 2 Silver nunome has been inlaid 
along the cloudy strip which outlines the field. Silver and gold have 
been utilized to bring out the snow on the overhanging pine and the 
stripes of the tiger's skin. It is a typical Tanaka sword-guard. The 
riohitsu are small, while the opening for the blade is in this case large 
and of an unusual form. Tanaka artists were accustomed to partly fill 
in the terminations of this opening with small plates of alloy covered 
over with gold nunome-zogan. Those plates are missing in this case. 
Another tsuba, signed with kakihan only (Plate LXI, Fig. 8), resembles 
the work of the Tanaka. It is of iron softly modelled, the centre carved 
in openwork and tinged with clouds of gold. Small shells are inlaid in 
relief. The kakihan is that of Shigeyasu of the Inouye family. 3 

Takamoto Hidemuni, born in Yedo in 1820, was a pupil of Kiyonaga. 
who evidently broke away from the Tanaka style and preferred to por- 
tray personages after the style of the Ishiguro and Hamano schools, 
showing forth a luxury of decoration and a marked delicacy of chiselling. 
Both of the tsuba in this collection, which are signed with his full name, 

1 H. Joly, Japanese Sword Fittings in the Naunton Collection, Nos. 2289 and 

2 Op. cit., No. 2302. For kakihan see Plate lxi, Fig. 7, in this publication. 

'According to the Ko kon kinko ben ran, Vol. II, p. 23. 

144 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

are made of shibuichi, and are of a modified mokko form. The figure of 
Minamoto Yoshiiye (Plate LII, Fig. i) is worked out in fine detail. 
The smiling face is in relief of silver surmounted by the nobleman's 
black cap (eboshi) made of shakudo with the tying cord of gold. The 
hero wears a suit of armor over a brocaded robe and holds in his right 
hand a folding fan. The fur-covered scabbard of his long sword may 
be seen projecting beyond his heavy shoulder-piece. The horse on which 
he rides is sculptured from shakudo, suggesting a glossy black coat 
against which the silver bridle and heavy, gold-fringed trappings shine 
in splendor. The incident in the life of Yoshiiye here depicted is an 
allusion to a poem which he wrote, as he looked upon the fallen cherry- 
blossoms at the gate of Nakoso : , 

Fuku kase wa 
Nakoso no seki to 
Omoye domo 
Michi mo setiichiru 
Yamazakura kana. 

"At the gate of Nakoso, although there comes not a breath of wind, why 
are the mountain-paths covered with cherry-blossoms?" 

There is a play upon the word Nakoso ("come not"). 1 A few silver 
cherry-leaves lie upon the ground at the hero's feet, while overhead a 
twisted branch still retains the full-blown flowers carefully chiselled 
from silver with leaves of greenish gold. 

The same rich palette of colored metals has been used to "paint" 
the decoration on Fig. 2, Plate LII, where the skill of Hidemuni as a 
chiseller is shown to fuller advantage than on the former tsuba. A 
flamed dragon with scales of gold is seen at the top emerging from a 
bank of clouds which had its origin in the uplifted bowl of the Chinese 
Chen Nan (Chinnan in Japanese). A young attendant of the Arhat 
looks up admiringly toward the dragon which, it is said, Chinnan was 
empowered to evoke at will from his calabash or bowl. The figures are 
modelled from silver, the draperies are of gold and shakudo etched with 
brocade patterns. The broken lines of chiselling with which the clouds 
are carved add markedly to the movement suggested. 

As was observed above, certain members of the Tanaka family 
studied under Goto masters, and were completely influenced by the style 
of their teachers. Of this group Yoshiaki is recognized as the most 
gifted. His pupil, Sonobe Yoshitsugu (1778-1842), carried his master's 
methods into all of his work. On such a piece as the kozuka (Plate LII, 
Fig. 3), for instance, he has recaptured the old spirit of the sixteen 

1 H. Joly, Legend in Japanese Art, p. 405. 



&&* ** '+ 

The Sonobe Family 145 

masters of the Goto school. Very suggestive of some of those early 
mitokoromono is the shakudo dragon, with flaming appendages of gold 
grasping a golden jewel, and set forth to fine effect against a gold nanako 
ground. The separate plate on which the decoration stands is set into a 
kozuka of shakudo which is inscribe^, "Sonobe Yoshitsugu." Working 
as a chiseller to the daimyo of Yanagawa, he became a renowned artist, 
signing his products with the names Denzo and Tanso. 

His son, named Yoshihide, inherited his father's skill in the delicate 
handling of metals. The tsuba (Plate LII, Fig. 4) is one of his deco- 
rative pieces (See LXI, Fig. 9, for kakihan). Not only is the bilobate 
form of the tsuba unusual, but also the combination of shakudo and 
brass for the two sides is an uncommon choice of metals. The obverse 
is of the darker medium, and likely is selected to represent the darkness 
of night passing away at the first touch of dawn suggested by the golden 
rays of sun rising behind clouds which are tinged with red, being sculp- 
tured from copper. Poised in flight, a graceful crane floats above the 
clouds. The feathered body is carefully chiselled from silver with tail- 
feathers of shakudo, crest of red copper, beak and legs of gold. On the 
sunny yellow brass reverse, two sparrows in relief of copper and 
shakudo flutter near a bamboo pole and rope, to which is attached a 
rattle commonly used to frighten away birds from the rice-fields. It is 
a remarkable effect which Yoshihide has produced on this highly finished 
work of art. One is entirely unconscious of the hard medium through 
which the picture is presented. On the obverse the clouds are so broken 
as to appear shifting and fluent, and the delicately inlaid bits of gold are 
as immaterial in impression as the rays of light which they represent. 


In making a survey of the art of the nineteenth-century metal- 
workers, there are certain sword-fittings which claim for themselves a 
dominant place on account of their beauty and freshness of appeal. 
These products usually are inscribed with one of the three following 
names: "Natsiio, Haruaki Hogen, or Goto Ichijo," those borne by the 
artists who are recognized as "the three great moderns." Each of these 
men developed and perfected a style distinctly his own. 

Kano Natsuo owes much of his prowess to the school known as 
Otsuki ("Great Moon"). This group was founded by Otsuki Korin, 
otherwise called Mitsushige, who lived in Owari in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Moving to Kyoto in middle life, he and his followers worked on 
all types of metal ornaments, not confining themselves to sword-fittings 
alone. Mitsutsune and Mitsuyoshi are among his pupils, the latter being 
famous primarily as the father of the foremost master of the Otsuki 
school. This artist, Mitsuoki, originated the habit of writing the name 
Otsuki with the single character representing the word tsuki written 
large, O meaning "large" or "great." Names adopted by him and found 
on several tsuba are Ryukudo, Shiryudo, or Shiryii, as well as Dairyiisai 
or Ryusai. 

Living in the early nineteenth century in Kyoto, Mitsuoki had the 
advantage of studying under Ganku, the renowned painter of natural- 
istic subjects, who was then stationed at the imperial court. This side 
of his training is reflected in many of his productions, such as those 
adorned with birds swimming on or diving into the water, or the more 
simple designs of bending reeds or wind-swept grasses. Certain of his 
kozuka and tsuba are inscribed or inlaid with poems which subtly illumin- 
ate the subject of decoration. 1 Figures too he depicted with power 
and grace, using both the method of relief and that of katakiribori. A 
few of his tsuba decorated by the latter method are quite as unique in 
quality as the work of Yokoya Somin. , 

A striking tsuba with high reliefs is to be seen on Plate LIII, Fig. I. 
It is inscribed Mitsuoki Dairyusai. It is of a larger size than is ordinary 
(9.5 cm in length), and in form is square with cut corners. The body 
of the guard is iron covered with a velvety patina of soft brown. The 
subject of decoration — Watanabe encountering the demon at the gate 
of Rashomon — is one which has been met with before (p. 100). 

1 H. Joly and K. Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 169. 


Otsuki Mitsuoki and Kano Natsuo 147 

On the reverse side of the tsuba, the artist has represented a pine- 
branch with golden needles, rent and torn by a furious storm, which he 
has chiselled with deep strokes out of the iron field. It is continued on 
the obverse side, where the sweeping lines, denoting a strong wind, carry 
the attention to a swirl of clouds softly sculptured and touched with 
flecks of gold inlay. In the centre of this tempest, the artist has placed 
the copper figure of the defiant demon, swarthy and muscular, who, 
having recaptured her severed arm, calls down curses upon Watanabe. 
The hero, with whitened face in relief of silver, crouches below at the 
right. One can feel a tension in each of these figures which, though 
small in actual size, are largely conceived and executed. The flowing 
lines of their garments add much to the life of the decoration. The robe 
of the demon is sculptured from two shades of gold with a shakudo 
undergarment inlaid in a brocade pattern. Watanabe's stiff court-cos- 
tume with the flowing trousers (shitabakama) is chiselled from the iron 
and covered over with his crest (three stars over the digit "one") in- 
laid in gold. There is in this collection also a brass tsuba which is in- 
scribed as follows: "Otsuki Mitsuoki (kakihan) carved this after a 
painting by Sii Hi." The decoration and treatment is almost identical 
with a tsuba by Yasuchika, reproduced by L. Gonse/ which must have 
been inspired by the same design. Sii Hi was a famous Chinese painter 
of the Sung dynasty. The picture from which these two artists took 
their design represents two herons standing in a lotus-pond. 

Mitsuoki was succeeded by his two sons, Hideoki and Atsuoki or 
Tokuoki, as he is sometimes called. Both of these artists seem to have 
preferred making the smaller mounts; only a few tsuba from their 
chisels are to be found. Mitsuhiro and Mitsunao are also listed as the 
sons of Mitsuoki. 

At the same time that these artisans were producing sword-mounts, 
Kano Natsuo, who was born in 1828 in Kyoto, must have been receiving 
his instruction in the art of metal-working from Ikeda Takanaga, who 
was the son of Ikeda Okitaka, one of Otsuki Mitsuoki's pupils. He 
also studied under Okumura Shohachi of the Goto school. Many of his 
realistic designs, especially those of carps arising from or descending 
into the water, he owes to Nakajima Raisho, with whom he studied 
painting. Raisho was a pupil of Okyo Maruyama, the noted painter 
of birds, fishes, and animals. It is recorded that Natsuo took certain of 
his designs direct from nature, particularly the peony, which he is said 
to have studied, but to have found no inclination to chisel a copy of the 

*L'Art japonaise, Vol. II, Plate xvn, No. 10. 

148 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

flower until he chanced to see it, one day, tossed by the wind. 1 The tsuba 
in the Hawkshaw collection (No. 2487) remains to testify how com- 
pletely he made this experience his own and recorded it in cold metal for 
all art-lovers to enjoy. 

In the early years of his life, Natsuo was known as Fushimi Jisaburo 
and later as Juro or Nagaaki. In 1854 he moved to Yedo, where later 
he was appointed chief designer for the imperial mint and also professor 
of metal-work in the Tokyo art school. Many of his tsuba are made 
of iron softly modelled and covered over with a rich brown patina. In- 
lay, relief, and katakiribori were all mastered by this artist, whose 
products are much sought after by collectors of metal-work. 

The large iron tsuba (Plate LIII, Fig. 2) is signed Natsuo so 
("made by Natsuo"). The riohitsu which are elongated and large recall 
certain of the Higo tsuba. This peculiar form 1 and the partially outlined 
seppa dai are characteristic touches on several of the tsuba of Natsuo. 
* Though his finest effects are accomplished by a low-relief sculpturing of 
the ground metal, the high relief and inlay in this case have combined 
to make an impressive decoration. At the lower right, the artist has 
adorned the tsuba with a fully sculptured figure of a wolf carved with 
fine realism from reddish bronze and standing near grasses in relief of 
gold. The animal, with jaws open and exposing sharp teeth, turns to 
look up toward a full moon inlaid in gold near clouds chiselled from the 
iron. The moonlit night is continued on the reverse side of the tsuba, 
where among bending grasses lie the bones and skull of a human being 
shining in relief of silver against the dark background. From this side, 
through one of the riohitsu, may be seen the uplifted head of the baying 

This decoration, which was probably adopted from a contemporary 
painting, is very similar to that which has been drawn on a kozuka in 
the Naunton collection (No. 2353). The piece referred to is signed 
"Kinryusai Hidekuni," the name of one of the pupils of Kawarabayashi 
Hideoki. Sometimes signing his work with the sole character for Gawa 
(Kawa) from his master's name, Hidekuni generally inscribed his pieces 
with his own name followed by Tenkwodo ("Hall of Heavenly Splen- 
dor"), likely the name of his studio. In this latter manner are signed 
both tsuba on Plate LIV, Figs. 1 and 2. The first example is of 
shibuichi with reliefs of various metals, particularly gold and shakudo, 
with delicate inlay of copper. Murasaki Shikibu, the famous writer 
and poet of the tenth century, is seen standing beneath the full moon, on 

*F. Brinkley, Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 321. 

■warsmr of mm le 






The Otsuki School 149 

the portico of the temple of Ishiyama overlooking Lake Biwa. It was 
at this famous beauty spot that she is said to have written the novel 
Genji Monogatari (p. 58). 

In comparison with most of the portraits on nineteenth-century 
tsuba, this figure is heavy and lacking in grace. Far more successful is 
the decoration on the smaller guard (Fig. 2), which is of mokko form 
and made from iron beautifully patined to a rich brown tone. The body 
of the snarling tiger standing on the edge of a rocky cliff is carved with 
strength and realism. The flashing eye, the light stripes of the animal's 
coat, and the bamboo sprouts at his feet are all inlaid in gold, so 
sparingly and tastefully employed as to produce a rich effect. The 
gently moulded rim of the tsuba and the sweeping lines denoting wind 
which he has carved at the top of the guard show Hidekuni's mastery 
of the chisel. On the reverse side there has been flowingly sculptured a 
waterfall plunging over rocks, tinged with gold inlay, and breaking in 
curling waves with gold flecks of foam. 

Takechika is the name of an artist who is placed by some authorities 
among the members of the Otsuki school. Although S. Hara lists him in 
his record of tsuba masters, no information is given as to his training. 
We simply know that he lived in Kyoto in the middle of the nineteenth 
century, for two tsuba made by him are dated in 1862. One is in the 
collection of V. Essen in Hamburg; the other, in the Dansk Kunstin- 
dustrimuseum in Copenhagen. There are four tsuba in this Museum, 
which are signed Takechika. One of shibuichi, adorned with a goose 
flying over a tossing sea, is inscribed Issai Jungetsu ("Intercalary 
month") Jinjutsu ("year of the dog") ; that is, 1863. A second guard 
of shibuichi, upon which are swallows, in relief of shakudo and silver 
flying near a cherry-tree, is signed Takechika Issai Koji ("Retired 
Scholar"). The name Genissai is carved upon the third tsuba, which is 
in the form of the bag of Daikoku, god of wealth. S. Hara records 
that Takechika bore the titles of Tsushima no Kami, Hogen, and Niudo. 
A fourth honorary appellation is inscribed on a tsuba in this collection 
(Plate LIV, Fig. 3). It reads, Shiba Yamashiro Daijo ("Feudal chief 
of Shiba in Yamashiro"). This guard, which is heavy and made entirely 
of silver, is carved to represent two carp tied together by bamboo twigs 
which are inserted through the gills and pass through the mouths. The 
design immediately recalls the Chinese girdle ornaments of jade repro- 
duced and fully described in B. Laufer's "Jade" (pp. 217-219). We 
are told therein that this design symbolizes mutual harmony between 
spouses and friends. The fish of the girdle ornament are tied together 
with a branch of willow which it was customary to give to a friend on 

150 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

parting. Thus the significance of the Chinese design reads, "though 
parted we shall remain friends." On this tsuba the two carp are tied 
together by bamboo twigs. This occurrence would lead us to think that 
the design on this Japanese tsuba refers rather to the brave spirit of the 
carp, than to the idea of harmonious association. This fish is called the 
samurai fish for two reasons ; first, because it lies passive and immovable 
when its quivering live flesh is sliced off for a delicacy, just as the true 
samurai endures his wounds unflinchingly ; second, because it swims up 
the waterfall, sturdily facing the strong current and overcoming all 
obstacles. The latter interpretation comes directly from the Chinese 
legend of the carp which, swimming up the cataract of the Yellow River, 
passes the Dragon Gate, and finally becomes a dragon itself. At the 
boy's festival (tango), which occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month in 
Japan, there are to be seen on the top of the houses wherein boys dwell, 
paper carps attached to bamboo poles. "This swimming-up the water- 
fall is very prettily suggested by the actual symbol ; for the paper fish, 
tied by the head to the summit of a tall bamboo pole, indeed appears to 
be swimming up the bamboo (take in Japanese which by a play on the 
words is made to signify the waterfall or taki)." 1 The emblem of 
bravery and courage, here suggested by the association of the carp with 
the bamboo (take), naturally is most significant as the basis of a decora- 
tion for a sword-mount. Takechika has demonstrated to the full his 
glyptic skill in the detailed carving of this tsuba. The firm, slippery 
bodies of the fishes have been remarkably reproduced, while the dorsal 
fins lie in rippling soft lines on either edge, thereby forming the rim of 
the guard. , 

The second of the three great moderns, Haruaki or Shummei Hogen, 
has given a large portion of his biography on the back of a kozuka which 
is in the Naunton collection (No. 2180, p. 159). The translation there 
given by H. Joly of this interesting inscription reads as follows : "In 
the dog year of KySwa (1802) I began to work and signed Shunnin; 
in Bunkwa (1804-17), I took the name Shummei; in Bunsei (1818-29), 
I was given the title Hokyo, and was later raised to Hogen. Afterwards 
I travelled like a cloud, sometimes to sing at Matsushima in the snow; 
at other times I rested in Nagasaki to admire the moon, and my name 
was not always the same. Now it is Tempo, the ox year (1841), on the 
banks of the Sumida River." Signed "Jippo O Shummei Hogen." Some 
of the other names to which Haruaki refers are listed by S. Hara: 2 
Bunzo or Chuzo, Sho, Nakatsukasa, Haruzumi, Getsuo, Sanzo, Ftiko, 

'Jiro Harada, Go Sekku (Transactions of Japan Soc, Vol. IX, p. 197). 
"Die Meister der japanischen Schwertzierathen, p. 14. 


Haruaki Hogen 151 

Jippo-Kusha, and Taio. Fiiunsanjin is a name added to the list by P. 
Vautier. 1 

Haruaki of the Kono family lived between the years 1786 and 1859, 
and was followed by many pupils, most of whose names began with the 
character aki. As mentioned before, Haruaki was a pupil of Yanagawa 
Naoharu, who, as may be remembered, was trained in the Yokoya school. 
In the excellent character of Haruaki's chiselling in katakiribori, the 
influence of Yokoya Somin is clearly to be seen, while in his reliefs there 
is much that suggests the methods of the Goto school. He worked with 
equal skill in these processes, and accomplished many of his most deco- 
rative effects in flat inlay. His subjects for the most part are illustrations 
of the shichifukujin, of sages, poets, or characters taken from popular 
legends. Mount Fuji captured his imagination, and is beautifully inter- 
preted on the long fields of certain kozuka and kogai. The upright 
decorations on the two kozuka in this collection (Plate LV, Figs. 1-2) 
illustrate the three methods of applying design. That in Fig. 1 is of iron 
adorned with a design applied in low reliefs of gold and silver. The 
picture represents the exterior of a house near which a plum-tree is 
growing. That it is the time of the New Year may be discovered by the 
shimenawa visible beneath the roof and by the charm placed beneath 
the eaves at the extreme right. This consists of the head of a sardine 
(iwashi) impaled upon a branch of holly (hiragi). Two demons who 
have been exorcised by the oni yarai ceremony (p. 96) are studying the 
charm, which is said to so intimidate them, that they will not re-enter 
the house. One of the demons cautiously stretches his three-fingered 
hand toward the prickly leaves. 2 

On the other kozuka (Plate LV, Fig. 2), which is of shakudo, the 
design is brought out by kebori, flat inlay, and high relief. Haruaki has 
here given a demonstration of the Sambaso dance (p. 124). The per- 
former, wearing the mask of an old, bearded man with white tufted 
eyebrows, is crowned by the tall-ridged hat, and holds behind his head 
in one hand the open, folding fan, — two of the accessories necessary in 
this performance. The bell rattle (suzu) is in his left hand, and may 
be seen projecting beyond his lifted knee. His robe is adorned with the 
pine, symbol of longevity, inlaid and carefully etched in gold. The lips 
of the mask are made of red copper, the tying cord is gold, and the 
whole is realistically carved in high relief. 

1 Japanische Stichbliitter und Schwertzierathen, Sammlung G. Oeder, No. 

"For origin of this charm, see H. Joly, Legend in Japanese Art, p. 50. 

152 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

Very often tsuba made by Haruaki are found to be decorated on one 
side in relief, while the other side is a masterful bit of katakiribori ; 
such is the case in the two tsuba herein illustrated. The object in Fig. 3 
(Plate LV) is of copper. The rim is slightly raised and irregular, and 
the field is covered over with a fine ishime carving in which this master 
excelled. A rollicking portrait of Daikoku, one of the shichifukujin, is 
sculptured in high relief of shibuichi on the obverse side of the guard. 
Backed by a golden nimbus he stands on a cloud from which ancient 
coins of various types are dropping. The largest of these is of the form 
known as oban, and is inscribed, as was customary, Ju ryo ("10 ryo") 
Goto (name of the superintendent of the mint). 1 

Daikoku, god of wealth and probably the most popular of the 
shichifukujin is a Brahmanic deity, who had been added to the Buddhist 
pantheon in India, and therewith introduced into Japan. He represents 
Mahakala ("the black god"), so called from the color of his image which 
it was customary to rub with oil. "Mahakala is the protector of realms 
and peoples, freeing them from disorder and other calamities." 2 Daikoku 
is usually represented with rice bales which signify the wealth of the 
realm. From the invasion of rats, who are frequently pictured with him, 
he is kept busy guarding his treasure. The attributes of the jewel and 
the magic hammer, with the futatsu or mitsu-tomoye (p. 43) painted 
upon the ends, are said to have been allotted to him by Kobodaishi. 
Both of these emblems he holds in his hands in this portrait by Haruaki. 
The full inscription on the guard reads: Haruaki Hogen (kakihan) 
tameni Junshindo shujin ("Made for the lord of Junshindo"). 

Figures 1 and 2 on Plate LVI reproduce the two sides of a tsuba of 
karakane, which has been treated with an acid bath so as to produce a 
"skin" of variable colors, iridescent in effect. The surface decorations 
on both sides are beautiful examples of finished workmanship. The ob- 
verse is a fine ishime, while the reverse is so treated as to appear to be 
flecked with small globules scattered over the entire surface. In reliefs 
of copper, silver, and shakudo, the figures of the Chinese poet Liu Hwo- 
ching (Japanese Rinnasei) and his young attendant stand under a plum- 
tree, watching a crane feeding from a dish in relief of copper. The 
tree-trunk and branches are modelled from a blending of shibuichi and 
copper tipped with blossoms sculptured from silver. The expressive 
face of Rinnasei is carved from copper, while that of the young at- 
tendant is of silver. On the reverse a weeping willow-tree is boldly cut 

*N. Munro, Coins of Japan, p. 189. 

*F. Dickins, Seven Gods of Happiness (Transactions of Asiatic Soc. of 
Japan, Vol. VIII, p. 438). 





Haruaki Hogen 153 

in katakiribori, its drooping branches breaking with gentle lines the up- 
per portion of the field. Upon the tree trunk leans an aged figure. The 
portrait of the old man, who is probably Jurojin, one of the shichifuku- 
jin, is a charming piece of line-drawing and inlay. Around his face of 
silver falls the head-covering of dark blue shakudo. His under garment 
of silver is visible at the throat and knee; the remainder is hidden by 
the overdress on which a brocade pattern is suggested in kebori. At his 
side a child is creeping toward a blossoming chrysanthemum-bush which 
seems to bring pleasure to the older man, who looks admiringly at the 
flowers. The two faces of this tsuba combine to make it an example 
of the high perfection attained by certain nineteenth-century artists, 
and a rare illustration of the interesting motives of decoration which 
many of these small fields encompass. , 


F. Brinkley 1 has forcefully said, "The occidental student of 
Japanese art rivets his attention on the work of the painter rather than 
on that of the sculptor, considers the pictorial motive in preference to 
the glyptic method. Now, as a rule with very rare exceptions, the dec- 
orative motives of Japanese sword-furniture were always supplied by 
painters. There exist innumerable volumes of designs from the brushes 
of more or less renowned artists, and to these the sculptor habitually 
referred for inspiration. All classes of art-artisans possessed such vol- 
umes, and were prepared to submit them for a customer's choice of 
motive. Hence it is that the Japanese connoisseur draws a clear line of 
distinction between the decorative design and its technical execution, 
Crediting the former to the pictorial artist, the latter to the sculptor. 
The enthusiastic eulogies and poetic comparisons of the Soken Kisho 
refer, not to the pictures chiselled on sword-guards, dagger-hafts, or hilt- 
tips, but to the manner of their execution. Michitaka, in common with 
all Japanese connoisseurs, detected in the stroke of a chisel and the lines 
of a graving-tool subjective beauties which appear to be hidden from the 
great majority of western dilettanti. He never fell into the mistake of 
confusing the inspirations supplied by the decorative artist with the 
technical achievements of the sculptor himself. However elaborate 
may be the decorative design, however interesting the motive, the 
Japanese connoisseur never forgets to look first to the chisel work. By 
its quality alone he estimates the rank of a specimen, just as the critic 
of pictures judges the authenticity of a painting by the force, direct- 
ness, and delicacy of the brush strokes. This becomes more easily com- 
prehensible when it is remembered that vigor and grace of line-drawing 
are the prime essentials of fine art in the eyes of a Japanese, and that 
his almost instinctive appreciation of those qualities in a picture equips 
him with a special standard for judging the excellence of sculpture, such 
as is found upon sword-furniture. The Japanese dogu-bori used thirty- 
six principal classes of chisel, each with its distinctive name, and as most 
of these classes included from five to ten sub-varieties, his cutting and 
graving tools aggregated about two hundred and fifty. This fact alone 
suffices to suggest the delicacy and elaborateness of his work." 

*Japan and China, Vol. VII, p. 228. 

Goto Ichijo 155 

On first meeting with a piece from the chisel of Goto Ichijo, though 
the decorative motive itself almost always commands admiration, it is 
the texture of the surface metal and the exquisite carvings of the reliefs 
on the mount which make the deepest impression. There were many 
remarkable craftsmen among the Goto artists in the eighteenth and nine- 
teenth centuries, but there was none who perfected the individual style 
and worked at one and the same time with such precision and grace as 
did Ichijo, the artist, who is generally placed with Natsuo and Haruaki 
Hogen to form the triumvirate of the "three great moderns." The 
mounts made by the "sixteen masters," even up to the time of Hojo, 
who died in 1856, and who was the last direct descendant of the line, 
continued to be formal and stiff. The finest pieces are almost without 
exception made of shakudo with nanako ground and ornamented with 
reliefs of gold or silver. Ichijo, on the contrary, seldom used nanako 
and to a large extent preferred the carefully patined background of 
brown iron for many of his choicest reliefs. When employing shakudo 
and shibuichi as the ground metals, he often so treated them as to gain 
novel effects, boldly gouging out his designs or chiselling away patches 
so to produce a roughened effect hitherto generally seen only on iron 

Born in 1789, Ichijo was a son of Kenjo, who was a direct descend- 
ant of the seventh master of the Goto Shirobei family, though himself 
not one of the noted sixteen masters. Ichijo lived to the age of eighty- 
seven, dying, as seems fitting for the last great artist of the Goto family, 
in 1876, the very year in which the samurai had to relinquish the privi- 
lege of wearing his two swords. After this period, the new order of 
things came in so rapidly as to sweep away much of the art which had 
occupied almost all of the greatest artists in metal work for five centu- 
ries. Brinkley 1 states that, when only nineteen years of age, Ichijo 
was commissioned to make a set of mounts for the sword of the emperor 
Kokaku. He succeeded so well that he received the title Hokyo to- 
gether with a reward of twenty pieces of silver and five bundles of silk. 
At thirty- four he was called to Yedo by the shogun, and there received 
a house and perpetual pension of ten rations, after which he attained the 
highest rank, that of Hogen. He occasionally signed his productions 
with the following names: Hachirobei (a name used by Kenjo), 
Mitsuyuki, Mitsuyo, Ichii, Muryu, and Hakuo. 

There are two tsuba by Ichijo in this collection. One of small size 
(6 cm in length) is inscribed, "Goto Ichijo Hogen, at seventy-five years 

\fapan and China, Vol. VII, p. 299. 

156 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

of age, by request made this of sokanagu (an alloy) in kebori." Within 
the slightly raised rim the artist has etched sprays of Lespedeza (hagi) 
and flowering stalks of Valeriana officinalis (ominameshi) . The alloy 
from which the tsuba is made is of gray color and lacks the beautiful 
sheen of shibuichi. 

The other tsuba is a much more important example of Ichijo's work 
(Plate LVII, Fig. 1). It is the smaller of a pair of sword-guards made 
for a dai-sho. The larger companion tsuba of the same form and a cor- 
responding decoration is in the Museum of Art at Toledo, Ohio. The 
inscription on that tsuba reads, "Made by Hakuo in early autumn of the 
tiger year (seventh) of Kaei ;" that is, 1854 (Hakuo saku Kaei shichi 
toratoshi moshu). The small tsuba herein reproduced is inscribed, 
"Made by Hakuo at Tobu" (Hakuo saku Tobu oite). Both of these 
inscriptions are written in cursive and the kakihan (Plate LXI, Fig. 10) 
on the larger one is distinctly different from that which usually fol- 
lows Ichijo's name. A specimen in the Naunton Collection (No. 336) 
also bears this cursively written seal. 

The tsuba under consideration, like its larger companion, is of iron, 
and is of mokko form. It will be noticed that by that time ( 1854) the 
early mokko form, which was decidedly quadrilobate (Plate VIII, Fig. 1), 
had been modified until it had become almost rectangular in outline 
with a slight indentation near each of the four corners. On the larger 
tsuba (in Toledo Museum of Art) there are, in relief of silver and gold, 
cherry-blossoms whose petals are falling among snow-flakes. On this 
smaller guard the flowers are those of the plum. They are likewise 
sculptured from silver with golden stamens and inlaid in relief, as is the 
crescent moon on the reverse side of the guard. The snow-crystals of 
various forms are scattered over the entire field which is patined to a 
chocolate brown color and a texture of wax-like malleability. In some 
cases the delicate snow-flakes are inlaid in silver; the majority, however, 
are reproduced in hammer-work. ' Occasionally only one-half of the 
crystal-form is clearly cut, while the remainder is only suggested and 
seems to be melting away under our very eyes. It may be that the appli- 
cation of these delicate designs was accomplished with tools on which the 
entire crystal form had been wrought in cameo as in the blind tooling 
used on book-binding or any leather work. This would in no way take 
away from the difficulties encountered in order to make the tsuba, for 
the perfecting of such tools would only be undertaken by a master. 
Several times did Ichijo use this poetic design of blossoms and snow- 
flakes for the decoration of sword-mounts. The large tsuba by him which 

Cf u^^ lu: °"- 


Goto Ichijo and His Pupils 157 

is reproduced by S. Hara, 1 though of brown bronze, is adorned with 
cherry-blossoms and snow-flakes beneath a crescent moon of gold. Again, 
the same design appears on a tsuba owned by M. Garbutt and repro- 
duced by H. Joly. 2 It is of shibuichi and copper, mi-parti (back and 
front) and inlaid with crystals and cherry-blossoms. On this guard, 
which is dated "third year of Tempo" (that is, 1832) , the crystals are all 
in relief. A third tsuba on which this design appears on a more minute 
scale, is of shakudo, and is in the collection of G. Naunton (No. 334). 
A fourth in the W. Behrens collection (No. 2019) is of shakudo and 
decorated solely with snow-crystals in hammer-work. 

Characteristic of the best work of the Goto school is the fuchikashira 
(Plate LVII, Fig. 2), which is signed "Goto Ichijo Hokyo." It is of 
shakudo with nanako disposed in straight lines and adorned with sprays 
and blossoms of the peony (botan), in relief of gold with sparing inlays 
of copper on the shakudo foliage. Though formal to a certain degree, 
there is evidenced on this piece the graceful handling and placing of the 
decorative motive which make for much of the charm of Ichijo's mounts. 

Goto Ichijo had a large number of pupils, twenty-two of whom are 
named by A. Mosle 3 in his genealogical table of the Goto Family. 
Among them none won and deserved a higher reputation than Funada 
Yoshinaga or Ikkin, as he sometimes signed his mounts, an artist, who 
died in 1862. He was an adopted son of Funada Kwanjo of the Iwa- 
moto school, but received his training from Goto Ichijo. A tsuba made 
by him is reproduced side by side with the two pieces of his master which 
have just been described (Plate LVII, Fig. 3). It is of wakizashi size 
and made of shibuichi with a patina of greenish gray, and is of a com- 
mon form being slightly narrower at the top than at the base. The 
whole surface within the raised rim is covered over with a fine ishime, 
save where the reliefs are placed on the obverse, and a small portion on 
the reverse which represents the shore line at Mio-no-Matsubara. This 
famous beauty spot is suggested in nanako with reliefs of shakudo and 
gold in the form of gnarled pine-trees, at whose roots curling waves of 
silver break and cast up tiny shells of gold and silver. On the obverse 
at the top, the cone of Fujiyama emerges from the surrounding fields. 
The volcanic ash lying along the sloping sides near the summit is repre- 
sented by an inlay of copper of soft reddish hue broken by streaks of 
silver realistically suggesting deep snow-patches. At the foot of the 

'Die Meister der japanischen Schwertzierathen (Plate facing p. 1). 
'Japanese Art and Handicraft (Plate cxrv, Fig. 279). 

*The Sword Ornaments of the Goto Shirobei Family (Transactions of the 
Japan Society, Vol. VII, p. 208). 

158 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

mountain floats a cloud of silver on which is standing the figure of 
Fukurokuju (p. no), holding his staff in his left hand and raising his 
outspread right hand as he gazes upward toward the peak. This minute 
representation of the god of longevity, happiness, and good luck is en- 
tirely sculptured from gold; his upper garment rippling backward in 
the wind is delicately ornamented in kebori suggesting a brocade pattern. 

Fukui Ichiju, another pupil of Ichijo, is the maker of the tsuba on 
Plate LVIII (Figs. 1 and 2), which is signed, "Made by Fukui 
Ichiju in April, second year (snake year) of Meiji;" that is, 1869. 
(Fukui Ichiju Meiji ni mizunotono mi uzuki saku). Adopting the modi- 
fied mokko form with the raised rim, characteristic of his master's 
guards, Ichiju has produced an interesting tsuba from brown iron. On 
the reverse, a group of peasants stand in a rice-field, two gathering the 
ripened plants, while a third looks up toward a flying cuckoo. A low 
hut with thatched roof stands upon the small plot of ground at the end 
of the raised path which outlines the rice-field. A spray of flowering 
Lespedeza (hagi) is carved in relief at the right side of the tsuba. The 
inlays and reliefs, such as the scattered clouds, the rice-plants, the 
peasants' head-coverings, and the cords (tasuki) which tie back the 
sleeves are of gold. On the reverse, the sole decoration is a poem 
paper (tanzaku), also in relief of gold. On this is inscribed, Furyu no 
hajime ya oku no ta ue uta [by] Ichi Getsu. It is impossible to give a 
translation of this delicate sentiment written in the epigrammatic form 
known as hokku. 1 It might be construed thus : "The first refined pre- 
sentation of the rice-planting song," and was doubtless inspired by the 
sight of farmers singing at their planting in the midst of a peaceful land- 
scape causing one to put aside mercenary interest and rejoice in the 
aesthetic appeal made by the song sung in the midst of nature. 

The mokko-formed tsuba (Plate LVIII, Fig. 3) is the work of 
Fukawa Kazunori, a follower of Ichijo, who lived until 1876. 
His adopted names Ryiiashi and Koryiisai help to distinguish his 
sword-mounts from those of three other nineteenth-century metal- 
workers, who also bore the name Kazunori and wrote it in the same 
form. There is in the collection of J. O. Pelton a tsuba signed Koryii- 
sai Kazunori, which is thought to be the companion piece to the one 
under discussion. 2 Both guards are of shakudo ; the one in the collection 
of Field Museum has a rare, dark blue color and a patina of satin-like 
smoothness. No other metals are used to enhance the tsuba; the bold 

1 Cf. ChamberlatiN, Japanese Poetry, pp. 147-260. 

*H. Joly and K. Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 130. 


mmm bf ' i 

The Followers of Goto Ichijo 159 

and simple design of the worm-eaten mulberry-leaf near which a frog is 
squatting is brought out in a medium relief and carving of the shakudo. 
H. Joly 1 mentions the fact that Fukawa Kazunori was a pupil of 
Hokusai. Certain of his designs he took from Tanyu Hoin, as he himself 
tells us on a tsuba in the Gonse collection. 2 Tanyu, who lived in the 
seventeenth century, was one of the most famous artists of the Kano 
school. His impressionistic paintings furnished many artists in metal- 
work with designs which they sought to reproduce on the limited fields 
of tsuba or kozuka. 

Such is true of the decorative motive on the small tsuba for a tanto, 
which may be studied on Plate LIX, Fig. i. 3 On the rim neatly inlaid 
in gold is the acknowledgment "From a design by Tanyu Hoin, sixty- 
nine years old" (Tanyu Hoin gyonen rokujuku sai). The tsuba is signed 
on the obverse, Goto Set i (kakihan). On the reverse is written, "On 
a spring day of the year of the rat"; that is, 1864 (Kinoene shunjitsu). 
Though evidently unknown to S. Hara, and not listed among the Goto 
by A. Mosle, Goto Seii is placed by H. Joly 4 among the followers of 
Ichijo. The design on this tsuba of shakudo is inlaid in reliefs of vari- 
ous metals. The silver moon (tsuki) near the raised rim is surrounded 
by a feathery cloud reproduced by the inlay of minute flakes of gold 
which spread over the reverse side of the tsuba. On the obverse side, 
below at the right, is a small hare (usagi), sculptured from gray shi- 
buichi, with eyes of silver. It crouches near brown bamboo-leaves, 
carved from copper and laden with dew-drops in gold. On the reverse 
two unfolded fern sprouts (waraji) in relief of green gold complete this 
simple presentation of the popular subject tsuki ni usagi. 

, "The hare in Japanese pictures is nearly always represented in asso- 
ciation with a full moon. This connection of ideas, illustrated also in the 
name sason ('the leaping one'), which denotes the moon in Sanskrit in- 
scriptions, is of very ancient date, and is supposed to have been suggested 
by a fancied resemblance between the form of the animal and the out- 
line of certain marks visible upon the disk of our satellite. In Taoist 
legends the hare is also placed in the moon, and is represented as en- 
gaged in pounding with pestle and mortar the drugs that compose the 
elixir of life. 

*H. Joly and K. Tomita, Japanese Art and Handicraft, p. 130. 

*S. Hara, Die Meister der japanischen Schwertzierathen, p. 47. 

*The same design evidently formed the basis for the decoration of a brass 
guard in this collection, which is signed with the seal of Yoshiyuki (see 
Plate lxi, Fig. II). 

*Sword Fittings in the Naunton Collection, No. 410. 

160 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

"Many curious superstitions, some of Indian origin, attach to the 
hare in Sinico- Japanese folk-lore. Like the fox, the tortoise, the crane, 
and the tiger, it is supposed to attain a fabulous longevity — one thousand 
years — and to become white at the end of one-half of its term; but it 
is neither credited with supernatural powers, like the fox and tiger, nor 
consecrated as an emblem of long life, like the tortoise and crane." 1 

One also recalls the Buddhist legend, one of the birth stories 
(Jdtaka) in which the hare (Buddha) casts himself into the fire in order 
to feed the Brahman. As a reward for his sacrifice, the hare was trans- 
ported to the moon. , 

Many of the contemporaries and followers of Goto Ichijo excelled in 
the making of beautiful fuchikashira and kozuka. One of the most 
original and at the same time accomplished pupils was Araki Tomei, 
known also as Shogintei and Ginshotei. His minutely carved reliefs 
representing millet heads generally made from gold and placed upon a 
shakudo-nanako ground, are among the most desirable examples of 
middle nineteenth-century sword-mounts. Goto Mitsuyasu, whom 
S. Hara places in the nineteenth century and A. Mosle in the eighteenth 
century, is the author of the fuchikashira (Plate LIX, Fig. 2) of 
shakudo. On the clamp a pheasant in relief of gold, copper and shakudd 
stands near blooming plants of the chrysanthemum (kiku) and violet 
(sumire) delicately chiselled from various metals. On the kashira, a 
sparrow (of copper, with breast of silver) clings to a bare twig beneath 
which are sprays of chrysanthemum flowers. Hashimoto Isshin, a pupil 
of Ichijo, who lived until 1896, is the name inscribed upon another 
shakudo-nanako fuchikashira, which is adorned with sprays of garden 
pinks over which swallows are flying. 

The object in Fig. 3 on Plate LIX, though signed Ichijo, is thought 
to be the product of one of that master's pupils. It is interesting to 
compare the relief on this piece with that on the kozuka on Plate XIII, 
Fig. 4. While the latter mount is adorned with a sculpturing of the 
Ni-6 with tightly compressed lips, generally interpreted as represent- 
ing an incarnation of Brahma (see p. 64), the clamp on this fuchi- 
kashira (Plate LIX, Fig. 3) is ornamented with the Ni-6 with open 
mouth, who is said to represent the incarnation of Indra. As in the case 
of the relief on the kozuka, copper has here been employed to reproduce 
the muscular figure of the temple guardian. Gold has been utilized for 
the lower garment and the floating shoulder-drape. The two artists must 
have found the inspiration for their designs at the same source, probably 

*W. Anderson, Catalogue of Japanese and Chinese Paintings in the British 
Museum, p. 257. 


cv?;^ ? ./f > u <v ot 





t< ^^v'^»^tW> 

The Followers of Goto Ichijo 161 

a noted pair of drawings or two sculptured figures at the entrance of 
a temple. 

Before closing this necessarily incomplete survey of the schools of 
metal workers (for only those members represented in this collection 
have been touched upon, scores remaining whose work is equally valu- 
able and interesting) , one more piece will be added to demonstrate once 
again the purely decorative quality of the sword-mounts of the late 
Tokugawa period, just prior to the time of the relinquishment of the 
samurai's valued weapon. The tsuba (Plate LX) signed Nobuhisa saku 
("made by Nobuhisa") is literally a piece of jewelry. Such sword- 
mounts are the nearest approach to our interpretation of that term; 
for rings, buckles, or similar personal ornaments were never worn in 
Japan prior to the influx of European trade. 

Miyata Nobuhisa was a pupil of Miyata Nobukiyo, who in turn had 
studied under Goto Mitsuyasu. On another tsuba in this collection, he 
has inscribed, together with his full name, three characters which read 
"Ryujusai." That tsuba is of bronze ornamented with a plum-tree in 
relief laden with snow, the latter being reproduced by silver inlay. 
Sparrows realistically sculptured from copper escape from a hawk and 
seek safety in snow-laden rushes on the reverse side. In the tsuba on 
Plate LX, Nobuhisa has combined the two metals, silver and shakudo, 
to give the impression of day and night. The day is represented by a 
glimpse of the bay of Suruga at Mio-no-Matsubara, the pine-clad point 
celebrated both in poetry and art. Broken clouds tinged with gold, inlaid 
in imitation of nashiji lacquer, float over the bay. Beneath the pines 
carved from shakudo and copper, two boats are moored near the shore. 
From this point of land one of the finest views of Fuji may be obtained. 
The matchless mountain is pictured on the obverse side of the tsuba in 
relief with an inlay of silver to represent the snow-covered cone. From 
the dark blue shakudo ground it rises above rolling clouds inlaid in relief 
of gold, partly represented in the solid metal and partly by the inlay of 
tiny flakes which sparkle against the dark background. A tossing sea, 
carved in relief from the shakudo, breaks over the lower part of the 
tsuba, the waves tossing off golden flecks of foam. At the left, a dragon 
is boldly emerging from the waves and rising through clouds toward 
the mountain. This oft-repeated motive of decoration has been inter- 
preted as suggesting the struggle of the earthly toward the ideal, and 
again as symbolic of success in life. Seldom has it been presented 
with more skill than on this tsuba by Nobuhisa. The writhing form of 
the dragon is sculptured with great care from gold, the scales chiselled 

162 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

so clearly as to appear imbricated and in motion. The flaming append- 
age above the three-clawed arm is made of red copper, and is a brilliant 
touch of color against the unusually dark blue shakudo field. On this 
tsuba the full palette of the nineteenth-century artist in metal work is 
exposed; the style of the ornamentation is typical of the rich Tokugawa 
period wherein luxurious excesses engulfed to a very large extent the 
purer art of the earlier centuries. 



Associate Curator of Geology 

The patina on iron Japanese sword-guards is essentially composed of 
oxides of iron combined or mixed with vegetable oils. Many of the 
lighter colored ones contain no other ingredient. Others are colored by 
the addition of small quantities of copper salts, sulphides of iron, or 
vegetable extractive matters which darken the color. The original form- 
ulas employed by the Japanese artisans cannot be conveniently used for 
the restoration of lost patina, as the time consumed is inordinately long. 
Much labor is also involved in numerous polishings, and substances are 
employed not readily obtained in this country. A study of these pro- 
cesses suggested that their essential features might be so applied as to 
produce results in a reasonable time and in a way that would be prac- 
tical under Western conditions. Experiments along these lines were 
successful, and a number of guards were treated. With the experience 
gained it was found that identical results could be secured by using more 
modern methods of oxidation at a great saving of time and labor and 
with more certainty of results. 

Method i. — One of the first successful treatments was based on a 
Japanese method in which the object was buried in moist wood-ashes in 
which there was also buried a bag of sulphur. The Japanese removed 
the guard from time to time, and polished it with vegetable oil and 
reburied it. 

To secure these results more expeditiously the guard is first cleaned 
by boiling in cigar ashes and water. Then a bath is prepared by boiling 
a mixture of cigar ash and sulphur in water until the solution turns yel- 
low and emits a sulphide odor. The specimen suspended on a cord is im- 
mersed in this for an hour, then removed and allowed to dry; when 
dry, it is immersed for another hour, and the treatment repeated until 
there is a good coat of rust. The guard is then dried and polished with a 
bit of absorbent cotton or muslin which is made slightly greasy with olive 
oil or better with a light mineral oil. The specimen darkens under this 
treatment, and much of the oxide rubs off. The polishing is continued 
with dry clean cotton or muslin until no more rust rubs off". The speci- 


164 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

men is then returned to the bath, and the treatment is repeated as often 
as necessary. In from two weeks to a month many of the guards will 
take a good patina, of a moderately dark chocolate. The proportions of 
sulphur and cigar ash are not given, as this method has not been em- 
ployed long enough to determine the best proportions. This process 
works well with most specimens, but has several defects. There is a 
rather narrow limit to the colors that can be produced. The longer the 
treatment, the darker the patina. The process takes too much time and 
too much polishing. On many specimens the rust is not sufficiently 
adherent, and most of it comes off when polishing. These must be 
treated by other methods. 

Method ii. — This is based on a Japanese method using plum vinegar, 
verdigris, and other materials. To prepare the bath, make two liters of 
five per cent solution of acetic acid, add nitric acid to a strength of two 
per cent, about two grams of potassium nitrate, ten grams of copper 
sulphate, and a small quantity, say five grams, of ferrous sulphate. 
Clean the guard by boiling in a weak solution of caustic potash or in 
cigar ash and water. Attach a copper wire, and to the other end of the 
wire attach an electric light carbon. Suspend the guard and the light 
carbon in the bath and leave for several hours over night. Dry and 
polish with a slightly oiled cloth, and repeat treatment as necessary. To 
darken, immerse in a glass or porcelain vessel in a dilute solution of 
yellow potassium sulphide and repolish. It takes some experience to 
tell how long to leave the specimen in this bath, for the color that ap- 
pears first is much darker than the color after drying, oiling, and polish- 
ing. If the color is too dark, it may be lightened by the careful applica- 
tion of the blue flame of a bunsen burner which oxidizes the sulphide. 
This method is more expeditious than the other, and any color may be 
obtained by it. On some specimens an adherent coating will not form, 
and these cannot be treated this way. This treatment will not injure any 
alloy inlays, as they can be polished bright if desired, although the tar- 
nish they assume will usually be near their original patina. 

Method hi. — By this method which departs more widely from 
Japanese practice, the same patina may be formed more expeditiously. 
The guard is laid on a clay triangle on a lampstand, and is heated from 
above with the blue flame of a bunsen burner until the iron hisses when 
touched with the moist finger. Then a two to five per cent solution of 
nitric acid containing a little ferric nitrate is rapidly brushed over it 
until a sufficient coating is produced, or until experience shows that it 
is advisable to stop. The coating is then further heated from above 

Observations on the Restoration of Patina 165 

with the bunsen burner to decompose the nitrate of iron. Then, after 
the specimen is partly cool, it is brushed over with a light mineral oil. 
After it is completely cool, it is oiled and polished with a soft cloth. 
Frequently this is all that is necessary. At other times the patina is too 
thin, and the process must be repeated, or an oil treatment along the 
lines of Method IV must be given. This produces a light chocolate 
patina in most cases. To darken the patina, two methods are available. 
A continuation of the oil treatment of Method IV is often sufficient, or 
a sulphide treatment may be employed. The guard is immersed in 
dilute yellow ammonium sulphide for several hours. When dried, it is 
cleaned and oiled with a soft cloth, and the color examined. If too light, 
the treatment is repeated. If, as is commonly the case, it is too 
dark, it is placed on a clay triangle on a lampstand, and the surface is 
cautiously oxidized by the flame of a bunsen burner until the desired 
color is obtained, when the specimen is given its final oiling and 

It is not as difficult as it seems to oxidize the proper amount of sul- 
phide to give the desired color; yet it is a matter that requires some 
practice. This treatment is successful with most specimens. Occasion- 
ally one will be found that will not form an adherent coating, and some 
one of several artifices must be employed. Perhaps the best is to add a 
small quantity of sulphate of copper to the acid. If care is used, this 
method may be employed on specimens that have some inlays of alloy, 
although, if there is much inlay, it is safer to employ Method II. 

Method iv. — When irons are free from inlay of other metals, they 
may frequently be given a patina by a simple heat and oil treatment. 
The specimen is heated on a clay triangle on a lampstand, and when hot 
enough to cause the oil to smoke freely, it is brushed over with a light 
mineral lubricating oil. The oil used is subjected to the action of the 
bunsen flame which is adjusted to be as oxidizing as possible. This 
evaporates the oil, so that there is little or no carbonized residue left, 
but at the same time it darkens the oxide coating, either by partially 
reducing it ; or by changing its physical condition. It also causes the 
patina to adhere firmly. The color may be adjusted by sulphide treat- 
ment as in Method III. After either of these treatments, several oilings 
some weeks apart are needed before the pores are so filled that further 
rusting does not occur. The guards do not all react alike to treatment, 
and the process must be varied to suit individual specimens as experience 

The patina produced is identical with the original patina. The body 

166 Japanese Sword-Mounts 

is oxide of iron corroded from the specimen itself and combined with oil. 
Adhesion and evenness of coating is promoted when necessary by use of 
copper salts. Color is modified by modifications of the oil treatments 
and by the incorporation of small quantities of sulphur. A Japanese 
method of darkening color by use of the tannins and extractive matter 
of tea leaves or plum vinegar has not yet been successfully applied. By 
the third method, with a little practice, it is often possible to restore 
patina to a scratch or other small injury without affecting the original 
patina on the rest of the specimen. The kind of oil used in forming the 
patina and in the later care of the specimens is a matter of importance. 
The Japanese use a vegetable oil. A vegetable oil of corresponding 
qualities which is readily obtainable in this country undoubtedly exists, 
but has not yet been employed here. Cotton-seed and olive oils form a 
gummy surface, and injure the appearance of the patina. Very satis- 
factory results have been obtained by the use of certain mineral oils. 
The best so far employed are the lighter grades of automobile cylinder 
oil and pure mineral spindle oils. Oils of the grade of sewing-machine 
oils and those which are supposed to remove rust must be avoided. 


Descriptive paragraphs follow names of artists represented in the Museum 
collections, but not mentioned in the text. Asterisk indicates names not found in 
record compiled by S. Hara. 

Aizu W & 52 

Akao # % 82 

Akasaka # WL 82 

*AkihirO 5J3 5/» P a ' r of menuki in the form of kirin sculptured from gold, 
standing on clouds of copper, shakudo, and shibuichi. Dated 
"spring, 1847." Cat. No. 131386. 

Araki |Jc >fc 160 

*Arinari Isseido {£. fi$t — • jic ^ Kozuka of shibuichi. A blooming 
plum-tree and small [bird in relief of gold, silver, and copper. 
Cat. No. 131387. 

Atsuoki M H (Otsuki) 147 

*Bizan ^ llj Tsuba of iron, quadrilobate. On each side four of the 
famous Eight Views of Omi (Omi Hakkei) in relief. Cat. No. 130782. 

Bosoken iil M, $f (Hamano Noriyuki) 93 

BushQ j£ ^H 99 

Chikan %U EH (Nara Toshinaga) 87 

Chikayuki M 151 (Hamano) 96 

Chokuzui, see Hamano Naoyuki 

Choshu Jfc irfi roi 

Chubei J& ji^ f$J (Iwamoto) 107 

*Chugo, see Mitsuyoshi 

Dairyusai ifc h! 3$f (Otsuki Mitsuoki) 146 

*Datoken $tj $& $f" Tsuba of iron carved in hikone-bori with inlays 
of gold. Two rishi, Bukan Zenji with a tiger and Chinnan evoking 
a dragon from his bowl. Cat. No. 1308 14. 

Denjo flg %k (Goto) 63 


1 68 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Dennai ff ft (Shoami) 57 

Donin $t tl (Hirata) 128 

Echizen j&l f?I 83 

Echizen no daijo j& lift ^C W (Ichinomiya Nagatsune) 122 

Fujita W- ffl (Motoharu) 130 

*FujitOshi j$fc ^'J Tsuba of shakudo with reliefs of silver, gold, and cop- 
per. On obverse Kwanyii on horseback. On reverse Chohi with large 
battleaxe (almost identical with No. 2766 in Naunton Coll. Signed: 
Fuji Toshinaga). Cat. No. 130759. 

Fuko JUL T (Haruaki Hogen) 150 

Fukui M $r (Ichiju) 158 

*Fukwansai M» WL Hf Tsuba of iron. Spider web in relief of iron with 
large spider inlaid in copper. Cat. No. 130810. 

Funada fl& B9 (Ikkin or Yoshinaga) 157 

Furukawa "6" JM 107 

Furyuken M, ffl $f (Takase Hisanaga) 131 

Fushimi \K H 53 

*Fuunsanjin M M ill A (Haruaki Hogen) 151 

Gaiundo ^ SI *3L (Hamano Noriyuki) 93 

Gakui ^ I or f M (Nobuiye I) 51 

Ganshoshi & 3|£ -f- (Ichinomiya Nagatsune) 122 

Gantoshi M. ^ •& (Ishiguro Masahiro) 119 

*Garyuken l$t fl $f (Nara Toshiyoshi) 92 

Genchin 7C f£ (Furukawa) 107 

Gennojo W. 3l Ou (Yukimitsu) 102 

*Genshosai 5£ l& ^ (Hamano Masaharu) 96 

Getsuo H m (Haruaki Hogen) 150 

*Gikoshi ^ ^T -? (Ichinomiya Nagayoshi) 122 

Ginshotei ^ 1& 2f£ (Araki Tomei) 160 

*Goro 3l HP (Horiguchi) 100 

Goto $£ $£ 60 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 169 

Hagi $c 101 

*Haiyo Shiki Sin *f? ffc ~F §|? J| Tsuba of shibuichi made after a 
design by Yasuchika. On obverse an elephant with saddlecloth. On 
reverse a long inscription. Cat. No. 130656. 

Hakuhotei fi % ^ (Konkwan) 107 

*Hakujusai, see Masamitsu 

Hakuo ifi H (Goto IchijS) 155 

Hamano §£ Mf 92 

Hanryuken, see Sadanaka 

Haruaki ^ ^ (Shummei Hogen) no, 150 

Harunari ^ Wt (Hirata) 129 

*Harushima, see Nobumasa 

*Harutaka Shoriken ^ ^ ^ M $f Tsuba of shibuichi with reliefs 
of copper, silver, and gold. Tobosaku with the peach of immortality. 
Cat. No. 130685. 

Haruzumi ^ {£ (Haruaki Hogen) 150 

*Hashimoto Wi 4 s * (Isshin) 160 

*Hayashi, see Masamitsu 

Heianjo ♦ 55: #& 55 

*Hideaki Tokao ^ 1$ #& ^ ^ Tsuba of shakudo. Seated tiger 
in relief of shibuichi and gold looks up toward crescent moon. Cat. 
No. 13 1308. 

♦Hidekuni ^r M (Otsuki) 148 

Hidemune ^ ^ (Takamoto) 143 

*Hidenaga ^ t^ Small tsuba of iron. In relief of gold and shakudo, 
a basket of egg plants and a sickle. Cat. No. 130854. 
Tsuba of iron, aoi form. Two dragon-flies inlaid near the raised edge 
in gold and shibuichi. Cat. No. 130786. 

Hideoki ^ M (Otsuki) 148 

Hidetomo ^r £l! (Omori) 115 

Hikone j§£ $L 77 

Hikoshiro ^k H $5 (Hirata Donin) 128 

*Hikozo M H (Hirata of Higo) 79, 128 

Hirata 4* ffl 79 

170 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

*Hiroaki Jjh *(■ Tsuba of iron with reliefs of copper, silver and gold. 
Chinese sage Riuto leaning out of a window to read by moonlight. 
Cat. No. 130837. 

Hironaga 5i, f^ (Uchikoshi) 137 

*Hironaga Kusano Jorantei SI il ^ HP ffl ^ Tsuba of brass 
with reliefs of shakudo, silver and copper. Three salmon swimming 
amid reeds in a swift stream. Cat. No. 130745. 

*Hirosada j/2, M Fuchikashira of copper. On the kashira, a large flying 
bat. On the fuchi three autumn plants, in relief of shakudo, silver and 
gold. Signed with a seal. Cat. No. 131408. Listed by H. Joly and 
P. Vautier among the nineteenth century Myochin. 

Hirotoshi, see Uchikoshi Hironaga 

Hiroyasu 5i» M (Uchikoshi) 139 

Hiroyoshi 31 & (Uchikoshi) 141 

Hiroyuki 5Z, B| (Hamano) 92 

Hisakiyo A fpf (Goto) 64 

Hisanaga ^ # (Takase of Mito) 131 

Hisanao H {!£ (Hamano) 95 

Hisanori !K M (Omori) 116 

Hitotsuyanagi — ffl (of Mito) 130 

Hogen & $£ 97, 142, 150, 155 

Hojo & ^S and ~% ^1 (Goto) 62 

HokyS & Wi 67, 150, 155 

*Horiguchi M P 100 

*Hosai S^ ^ Tsuba of copper. Chiselled in katakiribori, a demon running 
from falling rain and lightning flashes inlaid in relief of gold. Cat. 
No. 130709. 

*Hoshinsai J? M $t (Toshikage) 142 

*Hosonsai H ^ $£ (Tanaka Masakage) , 143 

Hozui, see Hamano Yasuyuki 

Hozui, see Hamano Nobuyuki 

*Hyakukai W ^ Tsuba of brass with fine ishime ground; reliefs of 
shakudo and gold. Taishun cultivating the rocky soil is assisted by 
the elephant and birds. Cat No. 130716. 

Ichii — ^ (Got5 Ichijo) J 55 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 171 

Ichijo — ^1 (Goto) 155 

*Ichijosai — ^ 1§f (Uchikoshi Hironaga) 137 

Ichiju — $ (Fukui) 158 

Ichijusai — «| 1SF (Masatsugu of Mito) 133 

*Ichimusai — ^ l£f (Kanzawa Mitsunaga) Tsuba of iron with 
reliefs of iron, gold, and silver. Two sages meeting on pine-clad cliff. 
Cat No. 131 189. 

Ichinomiya — ^ 122 

Ichiryu, see Hitotsuyanagi 

Ichiryuken — $P $f (Iwama Nobuyuki) 97 

*Ichiryushi — f| -p (Toshikage) 142 

Ichitoshi Ryuo — ■ jfc ~f" Hi IJa Tsuba of brass with reliefs of 
silver and gold. Herons and a hawk flying over waves. Cat. 
No. 130718. 

Ichiunsai — M 3§f (Nomura Masayoshi) 66 

Ihosai Jf H ^ (Hamano Chikayuki) 96 

Ikkin — ^ (Funada Yoshinaga) 157 

Imai, see Nagatake 

Inagawa IS JM 112 

*Ishikawa, see Seijo 

*Ishima, see Kiyokata 

Issai — 3§F (Otsuki Takechika) 149 

IssandS — M ^ (Joi) 87 

*Isseido, see Arinari 

*Isshin — 3* (Hashimoto) 160 

Ito # M 70 

Ittosai — to *$r (Teruhide) 1 13 

Iwama & fH 97 

Iwamoto %k 4* 107 

Iyeyasu ^ $c (Nobuiye I) 51 

Iyeyoshi ^c ]§ (Nobuiye II) 51 

Izumi no Kami |P $L ^P (Koike Yoshiro) 53 

172 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Jakushi pgf ^ 7 6 

Jimpo H "if (Tsu) 66 

Jingo ^ ^ (Shimizu of Higo) 80 

Jippo Kusha + ~jj & & (Haruaki Hogen) 150 

Jochiku fS\ V$ (Murakami) 127 

♦Jogetsusai #D B 3tP (Uchikoshi Hiroyoshi) 141 

Joi ^ M (Nara) 87 

*Jomei Mori j&O :& 3?fc Tsuba of brown iron. In low relief Shoki fol- 
lowing a demon who hides beneath a bridge. Cat. No. 131 146. 

*Jorantei, see Hironaga 

*Jounsai #D M 3$f (Uchikoshi Hironaga) 137 

Jowa HI ID (Nara) 88 

Joyeiken jfcn ^ ff (Tamagawa Yoshihisa I) 134 

Jucho HI J| (Masatsune II) 118 

*Jujiro !? ^C ll|5 Tsuba of shibuichi with reliefs of gold and silver. Two 
herons near a stream. Cat. No. 13 1500. 

Jujo H ^§ (Goto) 62 

Jukokusai # # ^ (Ishiguro Masatsune I) 117 

Juro, see Nagaaki (Natsuo) 

*Jusan, see Tsujin 

Kakujusai H» H $£ (Hamano Naoyuki and Ishiguro Masa- 

hiro) 95, 119 

*Kakuyusai %i $1 Itf (Hamano Nagayuki) 95 

Kaneiye %: %L 46 

*Kanenori 1*1 5E (Shoami) 57 

*Kaneshige ^ 3£ Tsuba of iron. In relief of copper and gold two 
manzai dancers near pine and bamboo. Cat. No. 131 152. 
Tsuba of iron with parts of two wheel-forms cut in openwork. In relief 
of shakud5 and gold insects near grasses. Cat. No. 131210. 

Kaneyuki Ufc fsl (Hamano) 92 

Kanshiro ^ P9 HP (Nishigaki of Higo) 79 

Katsuhira fflt 3 s (Mito) 134 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 173 

*Katsuju (Katsu in hiragana) t^ (Mito) Tsuba of shibuichi. In 
kebori and relief of silver, gold, and copper, two feathers, bird tracks, 
fallen maple leaves and grasses. Cat No. 130650. 

*Katsutoshi JH ^1 (Ishiguro Masahiro) 119 

*Kazunari Shima — ■ fi£ $h Tsuba of iron. Obverse tinged with gold. 
In relief of iron a large vessel (kama) used in the Cha no yu. On 
reverse a rolled kakemono and a spray of blossoming plum. Cat. 
No. 130792. 

Kazunori — JftJ (Fukawa) 158 

Keiho M 1$ (Ishiguro Masahiro) 119 

Keijo S ^€ (Goto) 62 

Keizui, see Hamano Nagayuki 

Kenzui, see Hamano Kaneyuki 

*Kichikawa, see Yoshimasa 

*Kikutei Masanaga ^J 3p $t ls$ Tsuba of shibuichi with reliefs 
of gold, shakudo, silver, and copper. Choun on horseback escapes 
from the bomb laid in the road before him. Cat. No. 130758. 

Kinai 12 ft 83 

*Kinryusai -^ bI ^ (Otsuki Hidekuni) Tsuba of copper with 
reliefs of shakudo and gold. Swallows flying beneath branches of 
weeping willow. Cat. No. 130711. 

Kita, see Takenori 

Kitagawa H £ JH (Soten I and II) 77 

*Kitsukawa, see Masataka 

*Kiukodo, see Mitsutoki 

♦Kiyokata Ishima fit 3f IS & of Hino Sf in Goshu XL W 
Tsuba of iron. Carved in the round, and inlaid is a wicker basket 
(Jakago) and a crab. Cat. No. 130835. 

Kiyonaga ?jf SI (Tanaka) 142 

Kiyoshige fpf M. (Tanaka) 142 

Kizayemon M & #J P 1 ! (Jakushi) 76 

Koami rjj PPT M (of Mito) 131 

*Kofusai, see Yoshihiro 

Koike /h i& (YoshirS) 53 

*Koji M it (Otsuki Takechika) 149 

Koju, see Uchikoshi Hironaga 

174 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Konkwan j& % (Iwamoto) 107 

KSrin, see Otsuki Mitsushige 

Koryusai "j& $P llf (Fukawa Kazunori) 158 

Koryusha ]£ f 1 fe (Ishiguro Masahiro) 119 

*Kosetsuken §■ ^ $F (Tomonao of Mito) Tsuba of shakudo 
with reliefs of silver, copper, and gold. In high relief Seishin, with 
her one-stringed lyre, looks upon a dragon rising from the waves. 
Cat. No. 130620. 

Koshu Myochin ^ 'JH 1$ J£ (Nobuiye I) 51 

Kozui, see Hamano Hiroyuki 

Kukuken JL (ku in katakana) $f (Tamagawa Yoshihisa I) . 134 

Kuninaga PU ^C (of Kaga) 56 

Kunishige PU Hi (Hirado) 73 

*Kusano, see Hironaga 

Kuzui, see Hamano Noriyuki 

Kwanjo "% ^ (Funada) 157 

*Kwanryusai, see Tomohisa 

Masaaki ®C 9! (Ishiguro) 120 

Masachika JE IS (Nara Yasuchika VI) 90 

Masafusa iUC J§ (Tanaka) 142 

Masaharu i§Sfc ^ (Hamano) 96 

*Masaharu IE ^ of Bushu Tsuba of shibuichi with ishime ground. 
Chrysanthemums and leaves in low relief of shibuichi, gold, and copper. 
Cat. No. 131 129. 

*Masaharu Terado JE ]£ tF (do in katakana) Tsuba of bronze 
mokume surface. In flat inlay of silver and kebori, dragon-flies, and 
a wasp. Cat. No. 130799. 

*Masahide Seiryuken $C ^ ^E $P $f Tsuba of iron with reliefs 
of copper and gold. Chokwaro releasing his horse from calabash. 
Cat No. 130848. 

*Masahiro I to IE Jf ffi jH Fuchikashira of shakudo with reliefs 
and inlay of silver and gold. Peony blossoms and lion beneath a 
golden moon. Cat. No. 13 1395. 

Masahiro Sfc Jf (Ishiguro) 119 

*Masakage i& jk (Tanaka Hosonsai) 143 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 175 

Masakuni JE EH (Ito) 71 

♦Masamitsu Hakujusai JE fc fi # ^ Tsuba of iron. A pine- 
tree carved in the round with sparing inlay of gold on the bark. 
Cat. No. 13 1 290. 

*Masamitsu Hayashi JE it W Tsuba of iron. On obverse, in relief 
of gilded copper, a crane alighting near rushes. Signed: Masamitsu 
Hayashi. On the reverse, a silver moon inlaid in breaking clouds 
above a fish net stretched on a pole. Signed: Mitsunaga jfc j&. 
Cat. No. 13 1279. 

Masamori ft *& (Ishiguro Masatsune II) 118 

Masamori ft -*jr (Hosono) 124 

*Masamori Taira IE ffi 3* Tsuba of iron. Carved in the form of a 
cross spanned by a plain rim. Dated fifteenth year of Tempo; that 
is, 1844. Cat. No. 131 121. 

Masanaga JE J& (Nara) 92 

Masanaga IE W (Tamagawa Yoshinaga) 135 

*Masanori JE & (Bushu) 99 

Masanori ft HI (Shoami) 57 

*Masataka Kitsukawa JE r^ Wi J'l Tsuba of shibuichi. In kebori 
and reliefs of various metals, four figures representing Yoshitsune and 
attendants before the gate of Ataka no seki. Cat. No. 130666. 

Masatoki IE ^F (Nomura) 66 

Masatomo ft %\ (Okada of Choshu) 101 

Masatora JE f$L (Akasaka) 82 

Masatoyo IE H (Okada) 99 

Masatsugu JE 2C (Ito) 70 

Masatsugu ft ^C (Yanagawa) 109 

Masatsugu JE -ft (Mito) 133 

Masatsune JE fa (Ito) 71 

Masatsune JE *r& (Jingoro of Ito) 100 

Masatsune ft ^ (Ishiguro) 117 

*Masayasu JE JH (Higo) 80 

Masayoshi JE pf (Ito) 71 

Masayoshi JE ^ (Nomura) 66 

Masayoshi JE jtf (Ichirobei of Nara) 113 

176 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Masayoshi T M& (Tsuneshige of Nara) 89 

Masayoshi §fc ^ (Ishiguro) 117 

Masayoshi WL )!L (Iwama) 97 

Masayoshi i|$C ^ (Tanaka) 142 

*Masayoshi IE Up Tsuba of shibuichi. In kebori and reliefs of gold 
and shakudo, herons resting beneath a willow. Cat. No. 130688. 

♦Masayoshi Sunagawa Shohakudo JE tf $ JH & ffi ^ 

Kozuka of shibuichi. On shakudo plate three flying swallows in relief 
of silver, copper, and gold. Cat. No. 131368. 

Masayuki lUC I§1 (Hamano ShSzui) 92 

*Matahashiro XA$ (Myochin Sadaiye) 51 

Matashichi X -t (Kasuga of Higo) 80 

Miboku $C M (Hamano) 92, 94 

Michinaga 3®. H (Yatabe of Mito) 131 

*Minamoto W* (Ichinomiya Nagatsune) 122 

Mito 7jC P (see also Suifu) 130 

Mitsuhiro % Jf (of Hizen) 75 

*Mitsuhiro Otsuki it 5i» >fc R Tsuba of shakudS nanako. In relief 
of various metals, three children gathering shells at the seashore. Cat. 
No. 130623. 

Tsuba of brass with reliefs of copper and gold. A fish-net stretched 
upon a pole to dry. Cat. No. 130728. (See p. 147.) 

Mitsumasa 55 H (Tsuji) 125 

Mitsunaga it H (Kanzawa) 135 

Mitsunaga, see Masamitsu Hayashi 

Mitsunao it Si! (Otsuki) 147 

Mitsuoki it M (Otsuki) 146 

Mitsusada it M (Yokoya) 107 

Mitsushige it $C (Otsuki) 146 

Mitsutoki f3l Je (Omori) 116 

♦MitSUtoki Kiukodo it R$ S& "& ^ Fuchikashira of shakudo, 
ground simulating leather. In relief of shibuichi two roaches near 
blossoming bean-plant in relief of shakudo and silver. Cat. 
No. I3i393» 

Mitsutsune it $L (Otsuki) 146 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 177 

Mitsuyasu it $c (Goto) 160 

Mitsuyo it ft (Goto Ichijo) 155 

Mitsuyoshi it J| (Goto) 64 

Mitsuyoshi it H (Otsuki) 146 

*Mitsuyoshi Chugo it 3? *\* fa" Tsuba of silver. A coiled snake 
carved in the round. Cat. No. 130594. 

Mitsuyuki it tf (Goto Ichijo) 155 

Miyata ^ EH (Nobuhisa) 161 

*Mori, see Jomei 

Morikuni i& iH (Sh5ami) 57 

*Morimitsu Jf- it Tsuba of brass. Ishime ground. In recessed relief, 
kebori and flat inlays of copper and silver, Shoki chases a demon 
who flees through one of the riohitsu. Cat. No. 130725. 

*Morinao $6fc if[ Tsuba of bronze. A reclining ox carved in the round. 

Cat. No. 130755- 

Morinobu ^P fit (Soyo I) 105 

*Moritatsu Ryukeisai SI )jk #P JP: $t Tsuba of iron with reliefs 
and inlays of gold. A tiger near a waterfall looks up toward the 
stormy sky. Cat. No. 131311. 

Moritomi -5$ ^ (Shoami) 57 

Moritsugu 1$ #t or ^ 2C (Soyo I) 105 

Moritsune ^Sc 'ffiT (Ishiguro Masatsune II) 118 

Motoharu 7C Rjff (Fujita of Mito) 130 

Motonaga 7C Jc (Okawa of Mito) 130 

Motonaga 7C H (Nanj5 of Mito) 134 

Motosada 7C M (Okawa of Mito) 130 

Mototada % *& (Seo of Mito) 134 

*MotOtane Chiba % JfJL T" 3i Fuchikashira of shakudo. In relief 
of gold, spiders in their nets. Inscribed: Chiba Mototane, iye wa 
Kisakata no higashi ni art ("My house lies east of Kisakata"). Cat 
No. 131391- 

Motozane JC ^ (Oyama of Mito) 130 

Munekuni ^ Pi9 (Myochin) 52 

Munenori %£ ffl (Myochin) 52 

Munetoshi %£ ffl (Nara) 92 

178 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Muneyoshi ^ pi (Umetada) 69 

Muryu |£ W, (Goto Ichijo) 155 

*Mutsuda, see Takenori 

MySchin f$ & 50 

Myoju BB % (Umetada Shigeyoshi II) 67 

Nagaaki H % (Natsuo) 148 

Nagaharu ^C M- (Joi) 87 

*Naganori Ryumin H ^6 W. BE Tsuba of shibuichi bounded by an 
iron rim sculptured to represent clouds. In relief of shakudo, silver, 
and gold, Saigyo Hoshi is seated near a stream, contemplating the 
peak of Fuji. Cat. No. 130768. 

*Nagatake Imai ^C j£ y i* ^ Fuchikashira of shakudo nanako. In 
fan-shaped fields are autumn flowers and grasses in relief of gold, 
silver, and copper. (H. Joly lists this artist among the nineteenth- 
century artists. See Naunton Coll. No. 403.) Cat. No. 131390. 

Nagatsune Jfc 1ft (Ichinomiya) 122 

Nagayoshi H SI (Ichinomiya) 122 

Nagayuki ft. P$| (Hamano) 95 

Nakai W # (Nobutsune) 101 

Nakanori W %& (Murakami Jochiku) 127 

Nanjo ^ $? (Motonaga of Mito) 134 

Naofusa fft 2§ (Okamoto) 103 

Naoharu \M. ^ (Yanagawa) 109 

*Naoka jft # (Oda and Fujiwara of Satsuma) 83 

Naokatsu flit j£ (Inagawa) 112 

Naomasa jit iE (Yoshiro Koike) 53 

Naomasa jit $C (Yanagawa) 109 

Naomitsu it % (Yanagawa) no 

Naoshige 1ft j$ (Okamoto) 103 

♦Naosure Onishi 1ft JH ^ l§ Tsuba of iron with edge carved to 
represent clouds. In relief of silver and copper, three horses beneath 
blooming cherry-trees. Cat. No. 130807. 

Naoteru lit )M (Sano) in 

Naoyoshi it f& (Sano) 1 1 1 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 179 

Naoyuki fli[ BS (Hamano) . 95 

Nara & & 86 

♦Narimasa Wt H (Umetada) 69 

Narisuke #fc ^ (Hirata) 129 

Naritsugu WL ^t (Umetada) 68 

Natsuo J£ ^i (Kan5) 146 

Niudo A IE (Soten of Saheishi) 77, 128 

♦Nobufusa fH i§ (Bushu) 100 

♦Nobuhisa fit ^V (Miyata) 161 

Nobuiye fit l£ (Myochin) 46 

Nobukiyo ft f^ (Miyata) 161 

Nobumasa a ft (Choshu) 101 

*Nobumasa Harushima f 1^1 & Small tsuba of silver with 
plum-blossoms on the edge in relief of silver and shakudo. Cat. 
No. 130596. 

*Nobutoki fff Jc Menuki of shibuichi carved in form of a turtle near 
swirling water-lines. Cat. No. 13 1397. 

Nobutsune fit {S (Nakai) 101 

Nobuyoshi fit $L (Hata) 97 

Nobuyuki 6§ R| (Hamano) 94 

Nobuyuki fit Rl (Iwama) 97 

Nomura if # 66 

*NorimitSU Goshu !$fc jfe ft ^H Tsuba of iron with inlays of silver, 
copper, and gold. Hikonebori, Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove. 

*NoritOshi Shoji $& Wt $L 1*J Tsuba of shibuichi with reliefs of cop- 
per, silver, and gold. The attendants of Fudd standing on cliffs 
above a waterfall beneath clouds sculptured from shibuichi. (H. 
Joly lists this artist among the nineteenth-century Hamano artists. 
See Naunton Coll. No. 1599.) Cat. No. 130671. 

Noriyoshi $g H (Hamano) 95 

Noriyuki 5£ p5l (Hamano) 93 

Okada |S3 B9 99 

Okamoto |29 H 103 

180 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Okitaka H # (Ikeda of Otsuki) 147 

Omori ;Jc 2£t 113 

Onkokwan : & ~ti JR» (Yanagawa Naoharu) 109 

*Onishi, see Naosure 

Otsuki ^C M 146 

Otsuryuken Zu #P $f (Hamano) 92, 94 

Rakui 151 M (Nobuiye II) 51 

♦Rakuju ISt # (Masayasu of Higo) 80 

Renj5 M ^1 (Goto) 63 

Rinsendo $£ J'i ^ (Tsuji Mitsumasa) 125 

Rizui, see Hamano Toshiyuki 

Ryokwan Jj£. % (Iwamoto) 107 

Ryoun fk 3£ (Konkwan) 107 

Ryuashi IP !^ ^ (Fukawa Kazunori) 158 

*Ryujusai, see Nobuhisa 

*Ryukeisai, see Moritatsu 

*Ryumin, see Naganori 

*Ryuo, see Ichitoshi 

Sadaiye M ^ (Myochin) 51 

*Sadanaka Banryuken M T $& H $F Small tsuba of shibuichi. 
In high relief of shakudo and silver, a carp and two salmon swimming 
among water plants inlaid in relief of gold. Cat. No. 130697. 

*SadatOshi M. W Tsuba of copper. Squirrels among grape vines 
carved in low relief, the fruit in relief of gold. Cat. No. 130710. 

Sadatsune Jiseitei ^ S @ 4 ^ Tsuba of brass. A heron on a 
leafless tree in relief of silver and shibuichi. Cat. No. 130748. 

Sadatsune Ji fe Tsuba of iron. In low relief and kebori cherry- 
blossoms floating on a running stream. Cat. No. 13 1204. 

Sakunoshin f^ £. jift (Tomohisa of Choshu) 102 

Sano i£. 2? in 

Sanso 2 3?x (Haruaki Hogen) 150 

Satsuma H J8? 83 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 181 

♦Seiansha $? 3c H" no 

*Seii U M (Goto) 159 

♦Seijo Ishikawa Jukokusai ft ^ ^ J'l # ■ & Tsuba of 
iron. In relief of shibuichi, a carp ascending a waterfall near which 
bamboo sprouts (in gold) grow. Cat. No. 131 173. 

Seijoken, see Yoshiyuki 

*Seiryoken *fe ffl, ?F (Katsuhira of Mito, see Hara, p. 43) 

Large tsuba of iron. In high relief of copper an octopus near shells 
and seaweed in relief of silver, shakudo, and gold. Cat. No. 130773. 
Fuchikashira of shakudo. Rice ears and stalks in relief of gold. Cat. 
No. 131380. 

*Seiryuken ilf $|) $f (Ishiguro Yoshinari) 120 

*Seishichiro, see Yoshihisa Fujiwara 

Seiunsha i*f fH lis (Yanagawa Naoharu) 109 

Sekijoken # $, $f (Motozane I of Mito) 130 

*Sekiyosai ^J ^p 3sF Tsuba of iron with raised rim. In low relief 
and kebori a dragon moving through waves. Cat. No. 1 30831. 

Setsuzan H* Hi (Ichinomiya Nagatsune) 122 

*Shiba Yamashiro daijo p] M| ill $c ^C £& (Otsuki Takechika) 149 

*Shigechika ^ iH (Nara of Yedo in Bushu) Tsuba of shakudo 
with flat inlays of copper, gold, and silver. A hunter with a gun ap- 
proaches a trap toward which a fox is looking. Cat. No. 130603. 

*Shigehisa lit !K (Inagawa) 112 

Shigekatsu 2£ jfe (Inagawa) 112 

Shigemune ^ ^ (Umetada) 67 

Shigesada Hi /£ (Shoami) 57 

Shigetsugu 'M. 2C (Nara) 89 

Shigeyasu j?£ $c (Inouye) 143 

Shigeyoshi I S n or H (Tachibana) 67 

Shigeyoshi j£ ?!f (MySju) 67 

Shigeyoshi II j|! its (son of Shigeyoshi Myoju) 67 

*Shima, see Issei 

Shingen fit 5£ 45 

Shinjo ^f. fH (Goto) 62 

Shirobei $S ^ ffi (Omori) 113 

1 82 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Shiryudo ^ W. ^ (Otsuki Mitsuoki) 146 

Sh5 13 or W* (Haruaki Hogen) 150 

Shoami JE m M 57 

*Shofudo, see Toshihiro 

Shogintei fa 0^ ^ (Araki Tomei) 160 

Shohachi JfiL A (Goto) 147 

*Shohakudo, see Masayoshi (Sunagawa) 

*Shoji, see Noritoshi 

Shoraku JE ISI (Okamoto Naoshige) 103 

Shoriken, see Harutaka 

Shozui, see Hamano Masayuki 

Shummei, see Haruaki Hogen 

Shunnin ^ t3: (Haruaki Hogen), read Haruzumi by Hara . . 150 

Shunshodo ^ BH ^ (Konkwan) 107 

Shuten ^ $L (Soten I) 77 

Soheishi H #J ~P (Soten I and II) 77 

Somin ^ 3R (Yokoya) 105 

Sonobe HJ nU . . ! 144 

Soryu *£ $P (Yanagawa Naomasa) 109 

Soten ^ Jft (Soheishi) 77 

Soyen ^ H (Yanagawa Naomasa) 109 

Soyo ^ H (Yokoya) 105 

Soyu ^ 'fi (Nara Toshiharu) 87 

Sozayemon *$& S: Hf P 1 ! (Hosono Masamori) 125 

Suifu 2R M (Mito) 133 

Sunagawa #£ JM 82 

Tadamasa JS& IE (Akasaka) 82 

Tadatoki J& K3f (Akasaka) 82 

Taio #J" HI (Haruaki Hogen) ' 151 

Taizan M- |JL| (Sekijoken Motozane) 130 



TOSHINAGA (p. 87). JOI (p. 87). 

3 4 

NORIYUKI (p. 94). NOBUYUKI (p. 97). 

NOBUYOSHI (p. 97). 

TSUNENAO (p. 122). MASAKAGE (p. 143). 

YOSHIHIDE (p. 145). 


HAKUO (p. 156). 

9 f\ 



SHIGEYASU(p. 143). 

11 12 

YOSHIYUKI (p. 159). TERUAKI (p. 183). 


*g»g^ M fc^y ^ 

J2 RAttl 

Index of Signatures on S Word-Mounts 183 

Takamoto ^5 4^ (Hidemuni) 143 

Takanaga # # (Ikeda) 147 

*Takaoki ^ ^ Tsuba of shibuichi. Three sanderlings in relief of 
gold and shakudo flying above waves in katakiribori. Cat. No. 130662. 

Takahashi M $* 127 

Takechika ^ M (Otsuki) 149 

*Takenori Kita jr£ fl'J H- ^ Kozuka of shibuichi. A crane is 
inlaid in relief of silver and gold. Cat. No. 131385. 

♦Takenori Mutsuda jr£ JJ'J W. ffl of Mitsugu H ^C {£ in Bingo 
VS iX Tsuba of iron. In low relief with inlays of gold, three 
folding fans carved on the obverse. Dated 1st month, 2nd year of 
Keio; that is, 1866. Cat. No. 131 117. 

Tamagawa 3£ J'1 134 

Tanaka ffl + 142 

♦Tanetora J8L % (Watari of Mito) 134 

Tansai # $ (of Awa) 57 

Tanso iH? 3& (Sonobe Yoshitsugu) 145 

Teijo M ^t (Goto) 62 

Tenho ?C XL 55 

♦Tenkwodo JZ it It (Otsuki Hidekuni) 148 

Terado, see Masaharu 

*Teruaki Tokasanjin (Teru in katakana) 1$ it 3£ |lj A 

Tsuba of iron with ishime ground. A bee sipping honey from coxcomb 
inlaid in copper, gold, and silver. Teruaki in seal, Teru in Kana 
(see Plate LXI, Fig. 12). Cat. No. 130821. 

Teruhide ^ ^r (Omori) 113 

Terumasa ^ H (Omori) 113 

Terumitsu 3fe flfil (Omori) 116 

Terutomo ^ £H (Omori) 115 

Tetsugendo &L 7C !§£ 103 

Tetsunin US A or £L (Kaneiye Nidai) 49 

*Tobari, see Yoshihisa 

Togakushi 3ft Wi ~F (Ishiguro Masatsune I) 117 

*Tokao, see Hideaki 

Tomei M P (Araki) 160 

1 84 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Tomoaki ~$/L 1f£ (Yamada of Mito) 132 

Tomohisa %L !K (Choshu) 102 

*Tomohisa Kwanryusai ^ *K "% m ^ Tsuba of copper. In 
high relief of shakudo a carp swimming among water-plants in relief 
and inlay of gold. Cat. No. 130706. 

Tomokane 2& ffl (Soyo I) 105 

Tomokata £H ft (Okamoto) 103 

Tomomasa £fl JE (Omori) 116 

Tomomasa w Ifc (Tanaka) 142 

Tomomichi jfc. 3H (Hirano of Mito) 132 

Tomotsugu %L r& (Hitotsuyanagi) 132 

Tomotsune $L M (Nakai) 101 

Tomotsune ^t & (Somin) 105 

Tomoyoshi ~%L f|£ (Hitotsuyanagi) 132 

Tomoyuki ^t ^ (Nakai) 101 

Tonan 2H ^ (Somin) 105 

Toryusai J& f| $£ (Tanaka Kiyonaga) 142 

*Tosetsu yUL Ep Kozuka of yellow bronze. In sunken relief the figure 
of a Nio with eyes inlaid in gold. Cat. No. 131399. 

Toshiharu M Vn (Nara) 87 

*Toshihiro ?| Wk Kozuka of shibuichi. In low relief two naked 
wrestlers, one holding up a belt. Cat. No. 13 1384. 

*Toshihiro Shoffldo f'J J| %fc M» ^ Tsuba of shibuichi with low 
reliefs and inlays of silver, shakudo, and gold. The three laughing 
philosophers standing on the bridge. Cat. No. 130663. 

Toshihisa M ffi (Nara) 87 

Toshikage H ^ (Tanaka) 142 

Toshimasa ?•] |5fc (Yegawa of Mito) 132 

Toshimune ^'J ^ (Nara) 87 

Toshinaga I and II %% H (Nara) 87 

Toshinaga ffl ^C (Chikan of Nara) 87 

Toshinaga M fc (Zenzo of Nara) . . . 87 

Toshishige ?!l HI (Tanaka) 142 

Toshiteru ffl H (Nara) 87 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 185 

*Toshiyoshi ?!l f|£ (Garyuken Nara) 92 

Toshiyuki ffl f$I (Hamano) 92 

Toshiyuki %C ft (Okamoto Naoshige) 103 

Tou Jt£ M (Yasuchika I and II) 90 

Toun JSt H (Tamagawa Yoshihisa I) 134 

Tounsai "M if 3§f (Yasuchika V) 90 

Toyoaki H ^ (Choshu) 102 

*Toyonaga ;H ^£ Kozuka of broad form made of shibuichi. In kebori 
and flat inlay of various metals, a hobby horse, a doll, and other toys. 
Cat. No. 131392. 

Tsu W (Jimpo) 66 

Tsugukazu •& — ' Tsuba of iron with relief of shakudo, silver, and 
gold. A moonlight scene near the water's edge. Cat. No. 130828. 

Tsuji *fc (Mitsumasa Rinsendo) 125 

*Tsujin Jusan jiS A M ill Tsuba of iron with low reliefs and inlays 
of gold, shibuichi, and silver. A nightingale perched upon a hang- 
ing lantern to which a poem is attached. Cat. No. 130846. 

Tsujo at ^S (Got5) 62 

Tsuju, see Michinaga of Mito 

*Tsunenaga ^T ^C (Hagi in Choshu) 102 

Tsunenao & ill (Ichinomiya) 122 

Tsuneshige ^ Hi (Nara) 89 

Uchikoshi ff j& 137 

Ujiiye J£ %, (Nobuiye I and II) 51 

Umetada tf* £ ffl 67 

Umetada J§1 J& 67, 69 

Umetada $* J5& 67, 69 

*Watari J£ # (Tanetora of Mito) 134 

Yamashiro ill JNfc 47 

Yanagawa $1 )\\ 109 

Yasuchika 3c H (Nara) 87 

1 86 Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 

Yasuhira $c 3* (Shinozaki of Mito) . 132 

Yasuiye $c %£. (Nobuiye I) 51 

*Yasumitsu 28c jfc (of Mito) 133 

Yasunaga (5j& M (Ihei) 135 

Yasunobu 5£c fit (Yasuchika I and II) 90 

Yasunori $c Jt'J (Tamagawa) 135 

Yechizen jfel lift (Nara Toshiharu) 87 

Yegawa XL J'l (of Mito) 132 

Yenjo M ffe (Goto) 62 

Yokoya fit & 105 

Yoshiaki i|| $J (Shimizu of Higo) 129 

Yoshiaki ^ 3f£ (Tanaka) 142 

*Yoshifusa "pf M (of Bushu) 100 

Yoshihide ^ ^ (Sonobe) 145 

*Yoshihiro Kofusai it Jf t§9 JSt 5f!f Tsuba of silver. Carved on 
both sides to represent a flying H56 bird, the tail feathers adorned with 
flat inlay of shakudo and of gold. Cat. No. 130592. 

Yoshihisa "pf !K (Myochin) 52 

Yoshihisa $F $k (of Kaga) 56 

Yoshihisa H !K (Tamagawa) 134 

*Yoshihisa Tobari Seishichiro Fujiwara H !K f* §H fpf -b 
lift HI mi Fuchikashira of shibuichi with low reliefs. A tiger 
hiding in a bamboo thicket. Cat. No. 13 1394. 

Yoshikatsu % jfe (Inagawa) 112 

*Yoshimasa Kichikawa §t Wi l^f JH Fuchikashira of shibuichi 
with high relief of various metals. On the fuchi, Raiden rests upon 
clouds, surrounded by his thunder drums. On the kashira, Futen runs 
with his wind bag. Cat. No. 131400. 

Yoshinaga H M (Tamagawa) 134 

Yoshinaga ^ H (Tamagawa Masanaga) 135 

Yoshinaga ft J| (Funada) 157 

Yoshinari H 55c (Ogawa) 120 

*Yoshinori if; ^ (Tsuji) 126 

Yoshiro H n % 53 

Index of Signatures on Sword-Mounts 187 

Yoshishige pf 'M. (of Kaga) 56 

Yoshitsugu pi 2C (Akao) 83 

Yoshitsugu :3§f $1 (Sonobe) 144 

Yoshiyasu H 'fie (Myochin) 51 

*Yoshiyuki Seijoken H BI trf 14 ?F Fuchikashira of shakudo. 
Ground carved to represent rafts on which are scattered cherry 
blossoms in high relief of gold. Cat. No. 131498. 

Yoshiyuki ;J§f ^ (Tanaka) 142 

Yujo tib ^ (Goto) 60 

Yukimitsu ^ it (Choshu) 102 

Yukitoshi # M (Choshu) 10 


Acala, 96. 

aikuchi, 32. 

Ainu, suppression of, 13 ; ancient sword, 


Aizu, daimyo of, 22. 

Alloys, analyzed by W. Gowland, 35. 

Amaterasu, ancestor of emperor, II j 
restrained by shitnenawa, 118. 

Amida, 80, 119. 

amida yasurime, 79. 

Ancestor-worship, comments by W. 
Aston, 11. 

Anderson, W., 63, 104, 119, 160. 

Anesaki, M., 95. 

Antoku, 15, 54; on tsuba by Soten, 78. 

aoi, so-called tsuba form, 30. 

Arai Hakuseki, on weapons from dol- 
mens, 25. 

Archery, early fighting with bow, 29; 
arrows on fuchikashira, 69; bow of 
Mongolian, 88, 94. 

Arhat, Nagasena, 63; Chokwaro, 139; 
Chinnan, 144. 

Arima, crest of daimyo of, 81. 

Armorers, tsuba by, 37; the Mydchin, 

Asakawa, K., on the early social or- 
ganization, 11, 12, 14. 

ashi, 25. 

Ashikaga, 1 1, 20; influence of sho- 
gunate of, 17, 46; fighting sword of, 

31, 45- 
Ashikaga Takauji, 17. 
Ashikaga Yoshiaki, 18. 
Ashikaga Yoshimasa, 46. 
Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, 46. 
Aston, W., 11, 93, 96. 
awabi, 91. 
Awa inlay, 57. 

Badger, 134. 

Bamboo, 83; with sparrow, 116; with 

tiger, 143; with carp, 150. 
Basho, poem by, 126. 
Bean, as motive for decoration, 83; 

used in oni yarai, 96. 
Behrens, W., 157. 
Beit, A., 7. 

Bells, on sword-hilt, 28. 
Benkei, on Gojo Bridge, 65. 
Bishamon, 51. 

Blades, found in dolmens, 24. 
Boar, 78. 

Bodhidharma, 135. 
Bonji, inscriptions on blades, 25. 
Boston, Fine Arts Museum, 29, 41. 

Bowes, J., on shippo, 39; on Taiko- 
bo, 124; on the Hi rata enamelers, 

Brahma, 65; 160. 

Brinkley, F., on fittings for the tachi, 
28; on patina, 40; on nanako, 60; on 
ishime, 64 ; on Kinai, 83 ; on Nara 
school, 87; on noshi, 92; on the 
Yokoya, 105; on shimenawa, 119; on 
sumisdgan, 126; on Natsuo, 148; on 
the importance of studying technique, 

Brinkmann, Justus, 7. 

Brooklyn Museum, 25. 

Buddha, emblems on feet of, 42; dis- 
ciples of, 63 ; Ni-6 protectors of, 65 ; 
incarnation of, 95 ; ball a symbol of, 

Buddhism, growth of militarism, de- 
struction of monasteries, 10; intro- 
duction into Japan, n, 28; influence 
on emperor's life, 13; wealth in lands 
of Buddhist temples, 14; persecu- 
tion of priests, 18; influence against 
old modes of burial, 24; Zen Sect 
of, 20, 48; Shugendo Sect of, 42; 
dragon and pearl in, 74, 75; subjects 
taken from, 96, 119; lion in, 109. 

Bukan Zenji, 63; on tsuba, 94. 

Bull, 50. 

Bushido, 10, 32, 48. 

Butterfly, 56. 

Calabash, on tsuba, 41 ; on banner of 
Hideyoshi, 41 ; netsuke in form of, 
91 ; horse proceeding from, 139. 

Carp, 147, 149. 

Centipede, 45, 51, 61. 

Chamberlain, B., 43, 59, 94, 108, 118, 140. 

Chang Kwo, 139. 

Chang Liang, 113,130. 

Charm, 96, 151. 

Ch'eng Ping, 113. 

Chen Nan, 144. 

Cherry, 79, 102, 144, 156. 

chidori, no. 

China, system of government adopted 
from, 12; forms of sword-pommels 
suggest Chinese source, 26; influence 
of, seen on court swords, 28; crowns 
of, 34; revival of culture of, 48; 
chained weapon of, 68; reflected in 
Namban tsuba, 74; landscapes in 
Chinese style, 76, 99; legends adopted 
from, 87. 

Chinnan, with dragon, on tsuba, 144. 


i go 


Chohi, 114; on tsuba, 139. 

choji-buro, 42, 84. 

Chokwaro, horse of, on kozuka, 139. 

Chorio, on tsuba, 130. 

Choshu clan, II, 21, 23. 

Chowry, on tsuba, 135. 

Chrysanthemum, 71, 74, 79, 81, 160. 

Chu-ko Liang, 98. 

Chung K'wei, 89. 

Cicada, on tsuba, 52; menuki in form 
of, 95- . 

Cintdmani, 74. 

Clan, original unit of society, 10 ; grow- 
ing power of certain clans, II ; re- 
grouping of clans, by emperor, 13; 
influence of conquest of Korea on 
unification of, 18; reorganization of 
daimiates, 19; reaction against sho- 
gun by Choshu and Satsuma clans, 
21, 22. 

Clay figures, found in dolmens, 24; car- 
rying slung sword, 25. 

Clove, 41, 42, 53- 

Cock, on tsuba, 123. 

Commelina, on fuchikashira, 98. 

Conch, design on tsuba, 42; trumpet of, 
42, 78. 

Copenhagen, Dansk Kunstindustnmu- 
seum of, 149. 

Copper, gilded accessories found in dol- 
mens, 25, 27; first copper coin in 
Japan, 26. 

Cormorant, fishing with, 140. 

Crane, chiselled in silhouette, 80, 83; 
on Kinai tsuba, 84; with Rinnasei, 96, 
153; with Fukurokuju, no; with tor- 
toise on tsuba, in, 132; carved in 
openwork, 134; released by Yoritomo, 
137; above sun- rays, 145. 

Crests, 39, 41, 42, 44, 53, 55, 56, 62, 72, 
78, 81, 82, 84, 102, 137, 147. 

Cricket, 70. 

Crow, inlaid on mounts, 126. 

Daikoku, mallet of, 43; on tsuba, 152. 

Daimyo, forerunners of, 16; protectors 
of nobility, 17; engagement in the 
conquest of Korea, 18; reorganiza- 
tion of daimiates by Iyeyasu, 19, 37; 
daimyo-nanako, 61 ; indulgences of 
in 1 8th century, 86. 

Dai Nihon Shi, 21. 

dai-seppa, 30. 

dai-sho, 31. 

Dance, of Sambaso, 124; of lion, 140. 

Dan-no-ura, battle of, 15 ; description 
54; on tsuba by Soten, 78. 

Daruma, on tsuba, 135. 

Dean, B., on ancient sword-pommel, 27; 
on Kaneiye, 47. 

Demon, 89, 93, 96, 100, 105, 147, 151. 

De Tressan, Marquis, 7; on merchant's 
swords, 9; on riohitsu, 34; on Kana- 
yama tsuba, 41 ; on Yoshiro tsuba, 
53; on Kinai, 83; on Yasuchika, 90; 
on Yokoya, 106. 

De Visser, M., on tomoye, 43 ; on 
dragons and ball, 75. 

Diaper patterns, inlaid in brass, 37; 
kago-ami, 38; swastika, 39; shippd 
tsunagi no wuchimi hanabishi, Zg. 

Dickens, F., no, 152. 

Dolmens, contents of, 24. 

Dragon, sword wrested from tail of, 
25; on sword-pommels, 26; on armor, 
50; on mounts, 61; two dragons af- 
fronte, 74; genius of rainfall, 75; in 
inlay, 76, 80 ; on Kinai tsuba, 83 ; with 
tiger, 95 ; Suzano-wo killing eight- 
headed, 104; emblem of longevity, 
112; tortoise with head of, 112; with 
jewel, inlaid in pearl, 127; carved on 
iron tsuba. 132, 134; emerging from 
bowl of Chinnan, 144; with gem, 145; 
legend of dragon-gate, 150. 

Dragon-fly, on mounts, 43, 56. 

Dutch, trade at Nagasaki, 21 ; boat on 
tsuba, 74. 

Eagle, 80. 

eboshi, 124, 144. 

Echizen, troops of, 27 ; daimyo of, 83. 

Eight-boat- jump, 78. 

Eight Happy Omens, 78. 

Eight Immortals, 139. 

Eight Views of Omi, 187. 

Elephant, 93, 169, 171. 

Emperor, descendant of Sun Goddess, 
1 1 ; accepted Buddhism, 1 ; adopted 
Chinese form of government, 12; 
many retired to monasteries, 13; Go- 
Daigo banished, 17; Go-Komatsu ac- 
knowledged ruler, 17. 

Enamels, 39, 127. 

Essen, V., 149. 

Europe, influence of, 38, 73, 74. 

Fan, broken, on tsuba, 54 ; tsuba in form 

of, 58. 
Feng Pe, 100. 
Fenollosa, M., 115. 
Festival, of dragon, 75; decoration for 

New Year, 118; of Tanabata, 120; 

for boys, 150. 
Feudalism, development of, 10-23. 
Fish, on charm, 96; on tsuba, 115. 
Fisherman, with net, 123; with pin for 

hook, 123; with cormorant, 140. 
Flute, 50, 68. 
Foreigners, diplomatic relations with, 

21, 22; influence of, on decorative 

motives, 73; leading lion, 138. 



Forty-seven Ronins, 32, 44. 

Four Sleepers, 63. 

Fox, on tsuba. 107; possession of, 108; 

Ta Ki, the nine-tailed, 133; wedding 

procession of, 141. 
Frog, 91. 
fuchi, 33. 

Fudo, carrying vajra-hilted sword, 24; 
attendants of, on tsuba 96. 
Fuji, hunting at base of, 77; on tsuba, 

157; with dragon, 161. 
Fujiwara, 11-15. 
fukinagashi, 78. 
fit kuei hua, 38. 
fukujuso, 66. 
Fukurokuju, on kashira, 10; journeying 

toward Fuji, 158. 
Fung Kan, 63. 
Fushimi, battle, 23. 
futatsu-tomoye, 43, 44, 57. 
Futen, 100. 
Futo tama no Mikoto, 118. 

Ganku, 146. 

Garbutt, M., 157. 

Geese, menuki in the form of, 123. 

Genji, wars of with Heike, 15; Genji 
Monogatari, 58, 149; Genji symbols, 

Gentian, 78. 

Gentoku, 98; on tsuba, 114, 138. 

Ginko, 54. 

Gilbertson, E., on leather tsuba, 30; on 
decorated habaki, 34; on Myochin, 

Gillot, M., 84. 

Go, 32, 61. 

Go Daigo, 10, 17. 

gohei, 1 18 x 4 r - 

Gojo Bridge, battle of, 65. 

Go-Komatsu, 17. 

Gold, pure used by Goto, 61 ; plating, 
62; edict against using, 86. 

gomoku-zogan, 56. 

Gonse, L., 120, 132, 147, 159. 

Goto, of Tosa, 23. 

Gourd, on tsuba, 41 ; used by Hideyoshi, 
4*1 53; m Satsuma tsuba, 83; horse 
coming from, 139. 

Gowland, W., on dolmens, 24; on the 
metals of early swords, 26; analyses 
of alloys, 35; on method of saw- 
cutting, 71. 

Grasshopper, 56, 107. 

Greey, E., 7, 49. 

Griffis, W. E., on early military organ- 
ization, 13; on Perry's visit, 22. 

gumbai, 58. 

Gunsaulus, Dr. F. W., 7. 

guribori, 126. 

habaki, 34. 

hagi, 66, 117, 156. 

Haitorei regulation, 9. 

Hammer-marks, 37; of plum blossom 

form, 38, 45, 54. 
hanabishi, in all-over pattern, 39; as 

crest, 81. 
Hanabusa Itcho, 103, 106. 
Hanshin and Shi Tei, 95. 
Hara, K., on early landholders, 12; on 

Ashikaga period, 46. 
Hara, S., 49, 62, 69, 90, 97, 99, 133, 

Harada, J., 150. 
Harakiri, 31, 32. 
Hare, 75; with moon, 159. 
Hawkshaw collection, tsuba in, 148. 
Hayashi, Viscount, 46. 
Hearn, L., on early social organization, 

1 1 ; on the occupation of swordsmiths, 

33; on oni yarai, 96; on foxes, 108; 

on Tanabata festival, 120. 
Heike, wars with Genji, 15. 
Hideyori, 18, 20. 

Hideyoshi, 18, 20, 41, 53, 81, 108. 
Higo, daimyo of, 19. 
Higo, tsuba made in province of, 79. 
Higo Kinkoroku, 80. 
Hikobei, 82. 
hikone-bori, 77. 
hirazogan, 38. 
Hirth, F., 43, 44. 
Hitomaro, on tsuba, 93 ; verse attributed 

to, 94. 
Hiyeisan, attacked by Nobunga, 10; 

equipment of priests of, 42. 
Hizen, clan of, 23. 
Hojo, attacked by priests, 10; influence 

of regency of, 16. 
Hokusai, 34, 120. 
Holly, 96, 151. 

Honcho Kokon Zan Ko fu Ryaku, 49. 
Hongwanji, attacked by Nobunaga, 10. 
honzogan, 38. 
Horse, 55, 100, 101, 107, 114; coming 

from gourd, 139. 
H06, on tsuba, 188. 
Hosokawa, daimyo of, 79; crest of, 80, 

hossu, 135. 
Hotei, on tsuba, 87. 
Hwang Shi Kung, 130. 

Ichi-no-tani, battle of, on tsuba, 134. 
Inari, 108 ; scene at temple of, on tsuba, 

India, 65, 74. 
Indra, 65, 160. 
Inscription, as decorative design, 82, 

94, 98. 
Iron, blades of, found in dolmens, 24. 

1 92 


iroye, HO. 

Ishida Yutei, 122. 

ishime, 64. 

ishi-suki, 28. 

itomaki, 33. 

Iyemochi, 22. 

Izumo, fox worship in, 109. 

Jacoby, M., 53, 66, 79. 

Jade, armor in dolmens, 24; sword- 
guard of, 27; Chinese girdle orna- 
ment of, 149. 

Jataka, 160. 

Jesuits, supported by Nobunaga, 18. 

Jewel, tsuba form of, 27; two dragons 
with, 74. 

jigai, 32. 

Joly, H., 7; reference to prohibitions 
against wearing of swords, 10; on 
sword-blades, 24; on tama tsuba, 28; 
on long tachi, 30 ; on the katana, 31 ; 
on smaller swords, 32; on origin of 
kogai, 34; differentiates between 
tsuba of swordsmiths and armorers, 
37 r ; on restoration of patina, 40; on 
Kanayama tsuba, 42; on Kaneiye, 47; 
on Fushimi tsuba, 54; on Kaga in- 
lay. 55 ; on the Goto, 60 ; on Namban 
iron, 74; on titles, 77; on Kinai, 83; 
on inscriptions on tsuba, 98; on 
Gentoku, 114; on Sambaso dance, 
124; on foreign figures, 138; on lion 
dance, 140. 

kabuto-gane, 28. 

kado-matsu, 116, 140. 

Kaempher, E., 19. 

Kaga, inlay, 55; daimyo of, 56. 

kage-zukashi, 41. 

kago-ami, pattern of, 38, 39. 

kakihan, 63. 

Kameyama, crest of daimyo of, 42. 

kamishimo, 32, 62, 70. 

kamishimosashi, 32, 62. 

Kamiyoshi, 80. 

kamisashi, 34. 

kanamono, 33. 

Kanayama, tsuba so-called, 41. 

Kan no Koso, 89. 

Kannon tsuba, 74. 

Kano school, 101 ; Tanyu, 106. 

Kanshin, on tsuba, 113. 

Kanzan and Jittoku, on mounts, 63, 94, 


karakane, 35. 

karakusa, 39, 51. 

kara-shishi, 105; description of, 109; 
132; led by two foreigners, 138; mask 
for dance, 140; with peony, 109, 142. 

kashira, 28, 33. 

Kasuga, 80. 

katakiribori, 88, 105. 

Katana, 29; early form and length of, 
31 ; mounts described, 33. 

katanakake, 31. 

Kato, 48. 

Katsumoto, Matsura, daimyo of, 39. 

Kazusa, crest of daimyo of, 82. 

kebori, 53. 

Keiki, 22. 

Ken jo tsuba, 58, 83. 

Kiang-Tse-ya, on fuchikashira, 123. 

Kido, 23. 

kiki-ko, 59. 

kikyo, 54, 66. 

kinchaku, 32. 

Kinko Tanki, 67. 

Ki no Tsurayuki, 93. 

kiri, 57, as design and crest, 81, 84. 

Kiyomori, 15. 

kobushigata, 47. 

kogai, 34. 

Kogen, 17. 

Kojiki, on derivation of the sacred 
sword, 25, 104; on "mallet-headed" 
sword, 27; legend of dragon-fly, 43. 

kojiri, 35. 

ko katana, 34. 

Komei, 98. 

Komei, 22. 

Komyo-Kogo, 28. 

Kongara Doji, pictured on tsuba, 96. 

Koop, A., on the tomoye, 44; on the 
kiri crest, 81. 

Korea, conquest of, 18, 73; probable 
importation of swords from, 26; Ko- 
rean wave pattern on tsuba, 38. 

Kosekiko, on tsuba, 130. 

Kotoku, 24. 

kozuka, 34. 

kurikata, 29, 35. 

kurosukuri, 30. 

kusari-kama, 68. 

Kusunoki Masashige, 17. 

Kuwa Hara Nago-no-jo, 49. 

Kuwana, daimyo of, 22. 

kwai ken, 32. 

kwambaku, meaning of, 12; power of, 
13; Hideyoshi received title of, 18. 

Kwan-non, on tsuba by Masahiro, 119. 

Kwan Yii, 94, 114; with Chohi on 
tsuba, 138. 

Landscape, on tsuba, 47, 76, 99, 158. 

Lantern, 48, 89. 

Lao-tse, 1 10. 

Laufer, B., on jade sword-guard, 27; 

on chained weapon, 68 ; on mantis, 98 ; 

on karashishi, 109; on symbolism of 

two carp, 149. 
Lin Hwo-ching, 96, 152. 



Lion, 61, 66, 105, 109, 138; dance, 140; 

with peony, 142. 
Liu Pei, 114. 
Lobster, on kojiri, 35; with shimenawa 

on fuchikashira, 1 18. 
Longevity, emblems of, 1 11, 132. 
Lotus, on tsuba, 136. 

magatama, 43. 

Maitreya, 88. 

makimono, Keion, 29; designs taken 
from, 125. 

mamori katana, 32. 

Mandarin ducks, on tsuba, 134. 

Mantis, on fuchikashira, 98; Laufer, on 
legend of, 98. 

marubori, 55; marubori zdgan, 77. 

Maruyama Okyo, 122. 

Masako, 16. 

Mask, on Kinai tsuba, 83, 84; kashira 
in form of, 103; for Sarugaku, 124, 
151 ; for lion dance, 140. 

matsukawa bishi, 29. 

Mayers, W., 124, 131, 133. 

McClatchie, T., on feudal mansions, 
20, Narita crest, 102. 

mekugi, 33. 

menuki, 33. 

metezashi, 32. 

Metropolitan Museum, 25, 26. 

Mikawa, daimyo of province of, 109. 

Minamoto, clan subdued warring tribes, 
13; in rivalry with Taira, 15, 54, 78, 
134; crest of, 78, 137. 

minogatne, on tsuba, 112. 

Mio-no-Matsubara, on tsuba, 157, 161. 

misasagi, the contents of, 24. 

Mitford, A., on harakiri, 32; on foxes 
wedding, 141. 

mitsu-tomoye, significance of, 43, 44; 
tsuba in form of, 53 ; on drum car- 
ried by monkey, 70 ; as crest, 81 ; on 
drum of Raiden, 100, 104. 

Mito, Prince of, 21 ; clan of, 22. 

mitokoromono, 35. 

mizuhiki, 92. 

mokkd, 37. 

mokume-ji, 50, 52. 

Mongol, on tsuba, 88, 94. 

Mongolian invasion, 16, 37. 

Monkey, 35, 70, 75, 80, 92. 

Mononobe, 11. 

Moon, on fan-shaped tsuba, 58; with 
dragon, 75 ; scholar reading by, 93 ; 
with hare, 159. 

Mosle, A., on the Goto, 60; on gold- 
plating, 61, 86. 

Mother-of-pearl, on tsuba, 127. 

Mulberry, leaf, on tsuba, 159. 

Munro, N., 26, 152. 

Murasaki Shikibu, 58; on tsuba, 148. 

musubi-gane, 28. 
Mutsuhito, 22, 32. 
Myoto-Seki, 1 18. 

Nagasaki, port of trade, 9, 21, 74-77. 

Nagasena, on tsuba, 63. 

Nagaya, S., 80. 

nakago, 33. 

Nakatomi, 11. 

Nakoso, Yoshiiye at gate of, 144. 

Namban, dragon motive similar to, 26 ; 

meaning of word, 73. 
nanako, 29, 60. 
Narayana, 64. 
Narihira, on tsuba, 131. 
Narita, crest of, 102. 
nashiji, imitated in metal, 97, 119, 161. 
Nasu no Yoichi, 54. 
Naunton collection, mounts in, 51, 100, 

106, no, 143, 150, 156, 157. 
neri, so-called tsuba, 30. 
New Year, decorations for, 116, 118, 

Nichols, H., on restoration of patina, 

40, 163-166. 
Nihongi, account of Soga family, n; 

on "mallet-headed" sword, 27; legend 

of dragon-fly, 43. 
Ni-i no ama, on tsuba, 78. 
Ni-6, on mounts, 64, 112. 
Nitobe, I., on feudalism, 10, 15. 
Nitta Yoshisada, 17. 
No, "Battle of Gojo Bridge," 65; 

masks used in, 83 ; dance of Takigind, 

Nobunaga, 10, 18, 19. 
Noritsune, on tsuba, 78. 
noshi, on fuchikashira, 91. 
nunome-zdgan, 39. 

8ban, on tsuba, 152. 

Octopus, on tsuba, 80, 183. 

Oeder, G., collection of, 126, 136. 

Ogata Korin, 90. 

ogi, 53- 

Okabe, K., 41, 45, 46, 55- 

Okakura, K., on Ashikaga ideals, 20; 

on dragon and tiger, 95. 
Okubo, I., 23. 
ominatneshi, 56, 156. 
omodaka, 66, 71 ; crest with, 81 ; carved 

on tsuba, 102. 
oni, 89, 96, 100. 
Onin, civil war of period of, 37; tsuba 

so-called, 53. 
oni yarai, on kozuka, 96; charm for, 

Ota, family of, 102. 
Owari, 22. 
Ox, tsuba in form of, 100; on tsuba, 




pa chi hsing, 42. 

Palmer, Maj., 140. 

pa pao, 42. 

Patina, recipes for producing, 40; res- 
toration of, 40, 163-166; on Kinai 
tsuba, 83 ; on Choshu tsuba, 101. 

Peacock, on fuchikashira, 116. 

Pelton, J., 158. 

Peony, with flames on waves, 38; in- 
laid on mounts, 56, 69; with kara- 
shishi, 109, 142; by Natsuo, 147; by 
Ichijo, 157. 

Perry, Coram., 16, 21, 22. 

Persimmon, in relief of coral on tsuba, 

Pewter, plugging riohitsu, 34; inlay of, 
49; mending with, 69. 

Pheasant, on tsuba by Masayoshi, 117. 

Phoenix, head on pommel, 26; head on 
boat, 78; one of the four supernat- 
ural animals, 112; on tsuba, 188. 

Pickling, of alloys for shading, 35 ; for 
restoration of patina, 40. 

Platycodon-grandifiora, 54. 

Plum, 38, 42, 54; blossom used in sig- 
nature, 67, 70; chiselled in silhouette, 
81 ; tsuba in form of tree of, 103 ; 
emblem of longevity, m, 115. 

Pommel, types found in dolmens, 25, 
27; covered with same, 28. 

Porter, W., 91. 

Portuguese, importation of firearms in- 
fluenced inlay, 38; influenced designs, 
73- . 

Pu-tai Ho-shang, 87. 

Raiden, design on drums of, 43 ; pic- 
tured on tsuba, 100, 104. 
Raiko, 100. 
Raisho, 147. 

Rashomon, gate of, 100, 146. 
Rats, in procession, on tsuba, 141. 
Rhinoceros horn, 42. 
Rinnasei, on tsuba, 96, 152. 
riohitsu, 34. 
Rishi, 63. 
Riuto, 93. 

sabi-dashikata, 40. 

sageo, 29, 35. 

Sambaso, mask on kozuka, 124; cos- 
tume of, 151. 

sambo-gin, 36. 

same, 29. 

Samurai, number of in 19th century, 
9; Nitobe's definition of, 15; under 
the Tokugawa shoguns, 19-21 ; his 
devotion to his sword and his lord, 
31, 32. t 

San Sukime, 91. 

Sardine, in charm, 96. 

Satsuma, clan, IX, 21, 23. 

say a, 33. 

Scabbards, of swords found in dolmens, 
24; brocade covered mamori-katana, 

Scidmore, E., 69. 

Schiller, P., 92. 

Screen, 57. 

Seitaka, Doji, on tsuba, 96. 

Sekigahara, battle of, 18, 19. 

Sennin, 63. 

sentoku, 35. 

seppa, 33. 

seppa-dai, 30. 

Sesshu 46, 48, 88. 

Setsu bun, 96. 

shakudo, 35. 

Shells, 83. 

shibuichi, 36. 

Shichifukujin, 87, 110, 151, 152. 

shiiremono, 7, 73, 86. 

Shikken, Hojo Tokimasa the first, 16. 

Shimabara, masacre of Christians at, 

shimadai, 112. 

shimenawa, used in purification rites, 
33; on fuchikashira, 118; its signifi- 
cance, 118, 140, 151. 

Shimizu, family, 80. 

shimofuri, 56. 

Shimonoseki, 22. 

Shinto, shitogi cake used in ritual, 28; 
purification rites performed by sword- 
smiths, 33; tomoye crest in shrine, 
44; god, Onamuji-no-Mikoto, 68. 

Shippo, 39. 

shippo tsunagi, no wuchimi hanabishi, 

39, 71.. 
shiratachi, 30. 
shitabakama, 147. 
Shi Tenno, 65. 
Shitogi tsuba, 28, 29. 
slid, 14. 

shochikubai, ill. 
Shogun, early meaning of title, 13; 

Yoritomo made shogun, 16 ; Ashikaga 

shoguns, 17; Tokugawa shoguns, 18- 

Shojiro, M., 84. 
Shoki, on tsuba, 89, 105. 
Shosoin, 28, 29. 
shou, 74. 
shugo, 16, 46. 
Shukuo, 103. 
Sickle, on tsuba, 68. 
Skull, on tsuba, 48, 148. 
Snail, on tsuba, 91. 
Snake, on tsuba, 91 ; on fuchikashira, 

Snow-flakes, on tsuba, 156. 
Soga, 11. 



Soken Kisho, 51, 99. 

Sokko Zenshi, 49. 

soroimono, 35. 

Sparrow, menuki in form of, 107; with 
bamboo, 116; on fuchikashira, 160. 

Stone, swords of, found in dolmens, 24. 

Strohl, H., 82. 

Su Hi, 147. 

suisen, 66. 

sukashi, 70. 

sumi-sdgan, 126. 

Sun, goddess of, n, 72, 118; disk on 
fan, 54, 58; on national flag, 72. 

Susano-wo wrests sword from dragon's 
tail, 25, 104. 

susu, on kozuka, 124, 151. 

Swastika, 39, 70. 

Swordsmiths, rites performed by, 33 ; 
tsuba made by, 37 ; the Myochin fam- 
ily, SO. 

Tachi, found in dolmens, 25; mounts 

described, 28. 
tachibana, 29. 

Tadamori, on tsuba, 88, 106, 120. 
Taikobo, on fuchikashira, 123. 
Tai Kung, on tsuba, 133. 
Taira, 11, 13, 15, 19, 54, 78. 
Taishun, 171. 
Tajima, S., 65. 
Takamura, on tsuba, 91, 94. 
takarabune, 39. 
takaramono, 39, 128. 
Takasago, aged couple of, 112. 
takasogan, 38. 
Ta Ki, on tsuba, 133. 
Tametomo, 15. 

Tanabata, festival on tsuba, 120. 
tanto, 32. 
Tanyii, 159. 
tansaku, in Tanabata festival, 121 ; on 

tsuba, 158. 
Taoism, 63, 75, 95. 
Tests, of blades, 33. 
Three Heroes of Shu, 138. 
Thunder, god of, 43 ; ball, symbol of, 75. 
Tiger, with Bukan Zenji, 63, 94; with 

dragon, 95, 112; in storm, 132, 149; 

with bamboo, 143. 
Tobacco-pipe, on kozuka, 64, 107. 
togashi-sogan, 126. 
Tokimasa, 16. 
Tokugawa, short description of period 

of, 18-23. 
Tokugawa Iyeyasu, 18. 
Tokyo Museum, 26. 

Toledo, Museum of Art, 156. 

tomoye, its varying forms and meanings, 

43 ; used as a crest, 44. 
Tomoye Gozen, 69. 
Tortoise, on tsuba, 112. 
Tortoise-shell design, 51, 70. 
Tosa, 22. 
tsuba, definition of, 25 ; copper-gilded 

tama form, 27 ; shitogi form, 28 ; neri, 

30 ; aoi, 30 ; mokkd form, 37 ; kobushi- 

gata form, 47. 
tsui-shiu, 126. 
tsuka, 33. 
tsuka-ai, 28. 

tsurugi, found in dolmens, 24. 
tsuyukusa, 98. 
Two Deva Kings, 64. 

udenuki, 34. 
umajirushi, 78. 
urajiro, 118. 
uragawara, 34. 

vajra, "thunderbolt", on sword-hilt, 24; 

engraved on kozuka blade, 34 ; in hand 

of Ni-6, 64, 65. 
Vajrapani, 64. 
Vautier, P., 43, 83, 155- 

ivakisashi, 31. 
Waley, A., 94. 
Watanabe, on tsuba, 100, 146; crest of, 

Waves, undercutting of, 114. 
Wen Wang, 123. 
Wistaria, on tsuba, 79. 
Wolf, on tsuba, 148. 

Yamabushi, equipment of, 42. 

yang and yin, 43. 

Yasoshima, 91. 

Yedo, capital of shogun, 19 ; changed to 

Tokyo, 22. 
Yoritomo, 10, 15, 16 ; on tsuba by Soten, 

78; on tsuba by Hironaga, 137. 
Yoshiiye, crest of, 81 ; at the gate of 

Nakoso, 144. 
Yoshimitsu, 17. 
Yoshitsune, 15, 16, 50; pictured on Gojo 

bridge, 65; at battle of Dan-no-ura, 

78; at Ichi-no-tani, 134. 
Yoshitomo, 15. 
yusuruha, 119. 

Zen sect, influence of teaching on war- 
rior class, 20; philosophy of, 48; 
Daruma introduced into Japan by, 35. 



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